"The animal died around 9:30 pm [Friday] and after this occurrence, the procedures for removing the carcass began here, under the coordination of the Almada City Council," Diogo Vieira Branco told Lusa news agency.

"The Almada City Council is the manager of this space" and it is this entity that "is responsible for carrying out the removal", said the person in charge of the Port of Lisbon, adding that it will not be "an easy operation", given the animal's dimensions and the terrain features.

Diogo Vieira Branco admitted that the operation, which will have to be carried out in complete safety, is expected to take some time.

Field removal operations are involving five heavy machines, according to the same source.

On Friday, at around 19:00, the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF) had already admitted that the animal could end up dying, due to injuries caused by a possible collision with a boat.

“Everything indicates that it has suffered a collision with a large vessel and when that happens, the animals usually end up dying - either they die right away from the impact or, if they don't die in the moments following the impact, they end up dying later and that's what happened to this sperm whale”, said the biologist from the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF) Marina Sequeira.

The Maritime Police were informed around 09:00 on Friday of the existence of a whale near the beach of Fonte da Telha.