A WHALE stranded close to North Kessock over the weekend has had to be put down.
The pilot whale, identified as an adult female, was part of a pod of around 25 to 30 of the creatures first spotted in the Kessock channel close to Inverness on Sunday.
Charlie Phillips, a field officer with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation charity, said the whales are more often found further out to sea and may have been following a food source when they entered the channel.
He also suggested the stranded whale may have been in poor health before she beached, though further tests will have to be carried out.
A group of the whales were spotted heading away from the city this afternoon.
Pilot whales have strong social bonds and mass beaching is not uncommon.
A group of 15 died in 2011 after a pod of 60 became stranded in a sea loch at