The remains of a whale lodged on the front of a cargo ship have been removed.
A pilot boat spotted the dead whale trapped on the bow of the Cote d’Ivoirian Star in the Solent on Monday. The ship was escorted into Portsmouth.
The 20m-long mammal, was lifted off with a crane and taken to a specialist plant where it will be examined.
Portsmouth’s harbour master Ben McInnes said it had been a “sad” operation.
He said it was unclear whether the whale, estimated to weigh 24 tonnes, was struck by the ship or if it was already dead when it came into contact.
The Liberian-registered vessel had been travelling from Senegal carrying a cargo of tropical fruit when the whale was noticed on its approach to Portsmouth.
It was held off the Isle of Wight for several hours before being escorted into port.
The carcass has been transported to Essex to a facility that specialises in animal waste.
It will be examined by experts from the Institute of Zoology’s cetacean strandings programme.
Mr McInnes said having a whale trapped on a ship’s bow was “not a common occurrence”.
“This was an unfortunate incident – sad for the whale and also for the people around the port and the ship’s staff.
“We have worked with several agencies to remove the whale and dispose of it in a safe and responsible manner, but also with respect for the whale.”