French officials face a race against time to dispose of a beached whale – before it explodes with potentially fatal consequences.
The decaying 15-ton carcass has become so bloated with gas there is a high chance it could burst, wildlife experts have warned.
Authorities are now desperately trying to work out the best way of getting rid of it – and may even blow it up with dynamite. Roads and beach cordoned off to stop people approaching or touching it
The whale washed up on the beach at Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer, near Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast in early November.
Anais Cheiron, project manager of the national reserve of Camargue, said: ‘Because of the heat, gases form inside the cadaver – hence, the bulging appearance of the whale. ‘They accumulate until they explode.’