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Portuguese Man of War found at Westward Ho!

09:48 17 September 2012

The potentially dangerous jellyfish-like creature was discovered during a beach clean at Westward Ho!

Volunteers gather foir a beach clean at Westward Ho! on Sunday morning. Pic: Graham HobbsVolunteers gather foir a beach clean at Westward Ho! on Sunday morning. Pic: Graham Hobbs

A RARE and venomous jellyfish-like creature was discovered washed up on the shores of Westward Ho! this weekend during a beach clean.

Sally Mckay Roper discovered the Portuguese Man of War on top of a pebble on the beach on Sunday.

She said: “I spoke with Mrs Recycle and the Burrows Rangers because we thought it might be a Portuguese Man of War.

“After looking this up on a mobile phone we discovered that it was and advised the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the RNLI.”

The creature is usually found in tropical shores although the MCS have reported recent sightings washing up on beaches in Cornwall.

The MCS warned the alien-looking creature was ‘potentially dangerous’ and urges anyone who spots one to report it to them.

Dr Peter Richardson, MCS Biodiversity Programme Manager, said: “The Portuguese Man O War’s tentacle-like polyps deliver an agonising and potentially lethal sting.

“Because a stranded Portuguese Man Of War looks a bit like a deflating purple balloon with blue ribbons attached, it may attract the curiosity of children.

“We are urging the public to report any encounters with Portuguese Man of War through our website so we get a better idea of the extent of the strandings.”

Anyone who spots one of these creatures is advised not to touch them as a sting can lead to an allergic reaction.

To report a sighting to the MCS, ideally with a picture, visit www.mcsuk.org and follow the Wildlife Protection link.

Have you spotted a Portuguese Man of War in North Devon? Contact us on sarah.howells@archant.co.uk or 01271 341658.

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