60,000-pound decaying whale carcass successfully removed from California beach after herculean effort.


SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — It was literally a great job.

On Friday, crews finished removing the estimated 60,000-pound carcass of a decomposing whale from a southern California beach.


The huge carcass of a whale rots on a California beach. PA

A contractor working for the state parks department spent two days using an excavator to cut up the 40-foot whale, which was hauled to a San Diego County landfill.


The end of the two-day, $30,000 project included removing the top layer of sand from Lower Trestles, a surf beach near San Clemente where the whale washed ashore Sunday.

That was to remove any sand contaminated by the whale’s bodily fluids.

“When they started dismembering the carcass, they said it was messed up, but not as messy as it could have been,” Rich Haydon, area state parks superintendent, told the Orange County Record.

“Hopefully there’s a bit of a smell down there for a while,” he said, “but I think we dodged a bullet.”

The whale was a tourist attraction for a few days. Despite the overwhelming stench, some people missed work or school to take photos with the huge corpse.

However, few people were present on Friday for the finish line.

Nick Lind from Newport Beach and Matthew Howell from San Clemente were surfing as the last remains of the whale were removed.

“It had an interesting stench, kind of like a rotten baked potato,” Lind said. “It was overwhelming when we were close to the coast.”

Lind said he wasn’t worried about sharks that might have been attracted to the whale’s remains.


Pee-yew! Children hold their noses after a dead whale washed ashore at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California.AP

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