Haulin' Blubber

Whale carcass is removed from the beach for real this time

By R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Apr 15, 2009  |  Updated 12:12 PM PDT
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A tractor hauls away a dead whale that had washed ashore in Del Mar and then again in Torrey Pines.

A tractor hauls away a dead whale that had washed ashore in Del Mar and then again in Torrey Pines.

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Hauling Blubber

The whale that washed ashore two times last week is finally on its way to the dump.

The Dead Whale Came Back

It's back, and boy does it stink. The carcass of a whale has washed up again on a north county beach.
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If you think you have the worst job, imagine being the guy tasked with moving a weeks-old whale carcass off a beach in Torrey Pines. Yummy. 

The smell was overpowering.

"Oh it was horrendous," said bicyclist Charles Henry, continuing, "I was down wind of it. But I felt sorry for the poor whale."

"Poor creature," sympathized another man.

The roughly 20-foot-long whale had washed up on a Del Mar beach Friday, was towed back to the ocean only to wash up again at a Torrey Pines beach Saturday.

Del Mar lifeguards had pushed it back into the water, tied it up and towed it five miles out to sea.

"Obviously where they dropped it wasn't far enough out, so it got caught up in a northwest current and washed ashore. Again, we view it as our Easter present from Del Mar lifeguards," State Beach Lifeguard Lt. Ed Vodraska said.

Bob Moore, the heavy equipment operator who operated the fork lift that moved the whale off the beach, estimates it weighs 25-30,000 pounds. He says the next step is to come back and remove the sand where the whale was lying.

"A lot of these whales have an oil that stays in the sand for quite a long time if you don't remove it," said Moore.

The gray whale appeared to have been dead for several weeks and was too badly decomposed to be the same whale that residents had dubbed Diego, according to the biologist.

A lifeguard says a large gash at the midline indicated that the whale may have been hit by a boat propeller.

The whale was brought to Miramar landfill.

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