MALIBU (CNS) - The carcass of a 35-foot male fin whale that washed onto a private beach in Malibu was unlikely to be moved today as officials completed tests and tried to figure out how to carry out the move.
County Fire Department Inspector Brian Riley said state officials were performing a biopsy on the whale, which he said "was pretty well decomposed with the tail intact."
"It is entrenched in the sand and impossible to tow free even at high tide," he said. "Burial at low tide will be difficult as well as land removal. It's in an area with bad access."
So far, no final decision has been made on how to remove the body, Riley said. "The original idea was to tow the body about 10 miles out to sea where it would be eaten by sharks and other sea creatures.
Officials said the whale was likely hit by a ship. Among its injuries was a gash to the back and vertebrae damage.
Fin whales, the second largest behind blue whales, can grow to about 85 feet. Naturalists estimate that about 2,300 live off the California Coast. They are a type of baleen whale, meaning they use sieve-like structures in their mouths to filter food from the water, unlike toothed whales such as Orcas.