Crews have hauled away the rotting carcass of a dead fin whale that washed ashore and prompted the closure of a Southern California beach.
A section of Bolsa Chica State Beach was shut down Friday after the Orange County Health Care Agency determined that the decomposing remains posed a health hazard.
Over the weekend, it was cut apart and scooped up by heavy loaders and carried off to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, the Orange County Register reported Monday.
“They were a really good, professional crew,” State Parks Superintendent Kevin Pearsall told the Register. “It was a sad ending, but as far as removal and the process of that, I couldn’t ask for a cleaner and more prompt and efficient way. It went really well. We didn’t know what to expect because of the size of this thing and the media coverage.”
During the few days it was stuck on the sand, the stinking carcass drew a steady stream of onlookers and people taking selfies with the gigantic creature. The fin whale is second largest mammal in the world behind the blue whale.
Authorities believe the whale is one of two that were struck by an Australian navy ship two weeks ago and then towed out to sea from San Diego.
Bolsa Chica is about 90 miles up the coast from San Diego Bay.