Workers Thursday removed about 80 percent of the carcass of a whale that washed ashore at Lower Trestles this week, and officials expect the rest of the remains to be taken to a landfill by Friday.
The work to remove the whale’s remains started Thursday morning, and workers decided to finish up by 2 p.m. so they could get to the landfill, which closes at 3 p.m., said Kevin Pearsall, a spokesman for the state Department of Parks and Recreation.
Taking the whale to a landfill is the last resort when officials cannot just make a grave on a beach or tow the mammal back into the water, Pearsall said. Lower Trestles, a popular surf spot, is too rocky for a grave and the weather and high tides prevented a burial at sea, he added.
Federal officials did a limited necropsy because the whale was too decomposed and because the beach is too public and attracts too many onlookers to make a full examination possible, said Justin Viezbicke of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
It’s unlikely there will be a cause of death determined, Viezbicke said, but the tissue samples can indicate if the whale was from the eastern or western Pacific Ocean.
The media attention has drawn many onlookers, making it tough for officials to remove the whale, Pearsall said.
“This one has received so much media attention we’ve seen dramatically larger crowds than we’re used to when dead mammals wash up on the beach,” Pearsall said.
— City News Service