Johannesburg - A rare beaked whale has washed up on an Eastern Cape beach, the Dispatch Online reported on Monday.

The whale was found on a beach in Chinta East last week. Kevin Cole, of East London Museum, was quoted as saying little was known of these whales and that there had been no authenticated sightings at sea in the region.

“Members of the public are thanked for reporting these valuable scientific finds... this could possibly be logged as a first for our area.”

Beaked whales can weigh up to 1.5 tons and be up to 5.5 metres long.

“The whale has a well defined beak, a small triangular dorsal fin set well back from the snout and small flippers,” Cole said.

It was not clear what caused the whale to beach. - Sapa