The carcass of a dead sperm whale that washed up on a beach in Pacifica was tagged with graffiti bearing the name of a local Bay Area gang.
The graffiti, which spelled out "East Bay Rats Motorcycle Club" in what appeared to be white spray paint, was erased by Wednesday's high tide along the Sharp Park State Beach south of San Francisco.
But photos posted online showed the graffiti scrawled across the whale's body. Several visitors to the beach told NBC Bay Area they deplored the action, with one visitor saying the whale's body should have been left to rest in peace.
Efforts to reach the East Bay Motorcycle Club for comment were unsuccessful.
The 50-foot whale washed up on Tuesday.
Marine experts still don’t know how it died. Early indications show no signs of a ship strike, broken bones or a blunt force trauma.
Biologists are still trying to determine what they will do with the carcass. They may bury it on the beach or drag it back out to sea.
A spokeswoman for the Marine Mammal Center, whose veterinarian and marine biologists performed a necropsy on the whale, told The Associated Press that 17 dead sperm whales have washed up on California's northern coast in the 40 years since they have dealt with such cases.
Necropsy results are expected in a couple of weeks.