A 40-foot whale carcass is rotting on the beach in Malibu, California is causing quite the stir.
The whale is believed to be a male fin that washed ashore around 11:00AM on Monday at Little Dume beach, a small beach between Point Dume State Beach and Paradise Cove.
Lifeguards were hoping to pull the 40,000-pound whale carcass out to sea on Thursday at high tide, but are now rethinking their plan. It may be more work than they had in mind since the whale is wedged between rocks on the beach.
County fire Inspector Brian Riley said, “Our lifeguards think this probably exceeds our capabilities. You would need a tug boat to drag it out to sea.”
The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors says they are not responsible for disposing the whale, which has more than a 40-foot length body, said Carol Baker, who represents the agency.
“It’s on a private beach” that is controlled by homeowners down to the high tide line and the state is responsible for the tidelands, Baker added. All in all, the county, state beach and parks officials are still arguing over who is responsible and the plan of how to remove the carcass, somehow.
The Malibu spokeswoman, Olivia Damavandi, said the whale removal plans have not been finalized, and might roll over to another day.
Tamara Dunn, who lives right next to Paradise Cove, told KNX 1070 Newsradio, “I don’t know how they’re gonna get him out. They talked about taking him out in pieces because he’s so big, the Coast Guard can’t drag him back out to sea. He’s pretty funky now.”
It’s believed the whale was hit by a ship because it had a gash on it’s back and a damaged spine, according to results of a necropsy conducted Tuesday by the wildlife center. “The traumatic injury that we discovered is consistent with a ship strike,” Cindy Reyes, executive director of the California Wildlife Center said. “We have taken a number of tissue samples to send in for analysis as well so we will know more when those come back.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fin whales, which are endangered, are fairly common this time of year off the coast of California with only about 2,300 living along the West Coast. They’re the second-largest species of whale after blue whales. They grow in length to 75 to 80 feet and can live for up to 80 to 90 years.
Whale Washes Ashore in Malibu
The whale, believed to be a male fin, washed ashore on Monday. Wildlife experts believe it may have been struck by a boat.
Fin Whale Washes Up on Malibu Beach
A dead 41-foot fin whale washed up between Paradise Cove and Point Dume in Malibu on Monday — possibly the victim of a boat strike.