Dead Whale In Malibu Spreads Odor
By Ivetta Babadjanian
Dec 7, 2012 - 2:02:44 PM
MALIBU—A dead 41-foot fin whale washed up between Paradise Cove and Point Dume State Beach in Malibu on Monday, December 3 and authorities are trying to decide how to dispose of the carcass. The odoriferous carcass resides within a mile radius from the homes of celebrities such as Barbara Streisand and Bob Dylan.
Marine experts from the California Wildlife Center performed a necropsy on the whale.
Los Angeles County lifeguards tried to pull the 40,000-pound whale out to sea at high tide but were unsuccessful since it is heavy and deeply embedded in the sand. Additionally, solid equipment can't be used because the low tide does not start until December 10. The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors stated that it is not their responsibility to clean the decaying whale as Little Dume is a private beach.
Other Malibu officials indicate the state may take care of it but the nearest state property is almost a mile away. The carcass has begun to decompose making it impossible to tow away as it will merely break apart and cause a bigger mess. The California Wildlife Center sent a professional marine tow service to arrive at the scene on Friday, December 7 to determine if the whale cane be moved.
Malibu residents are concerned that the carcass will attract sharks if it is simply buried since the whale's blubber will eventually decay into oil.
Marine experts at the California Wildlife Center performed a necropsy on Tuesday, December 4 in which it was determined the whale had a number of injuries including a gash to its back and vertebrae damage. The injuries may have been from hitting a ship which has become more common due to increased numbers of migrating blue, fin and humpback whales swimming to California's shore to eat shrimp-like krill.
Fin whales are the second longest animals in the world and can grow to be about 85 feet. They are baleen whales as they use sieve-like structures in their mouths in order to filter food from the water. Fin whales are an endangered species and it is estimated that approximately 2,300 live off the coast of California.
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