In a heart-breaking incident that took place on Friday, a massive humpback whale was pulled out of the water using a bulldozer when it was found stuck at Dockweiler beach in Los Angeles. The whale has been identified as Wally.
The whale was measured to be 46 feet long and emitted a very foul odor which made lifeguards put yellow cautionary tape around it. The incident is taking place just before the 4th of July festivities.
“The 45-foot-long, 22-ton whale carcass washed ashore about 8 p.m. Thursday”, said Haskett who is Los Angeles County Lifeguard captain. “The male cetacean was between 10 and 20 years old when he died”, the county lifeguard department tweeted.
Thousands of beach goers were expected to arrive for the long Fourth of July weekend, making it a priority for workers to tow the carcass back into the water were it could properly decompose.
Officials asked the public to stay 200 feet away from the carcass and onlookers crowded along the the edge of the taped perimeter to watch researchers and county work crews as they worked towards sending back the whale.
“Lifeguards, working with the county’s Department of Beaches and Harbors, decided to tow the carcass far out to sea, where it will be clear of shipping lanes and where currents will keep it away from the beach. Natural decomposition and marine life will do the rest,” Haskett said.
Before being pulled back into the water, samples of the whale were taken for scientists to study. The whale was said to be in poor health as it was covered in white lice, though, it was said to have been feeding properly. Marine Biologists took tissue samples to determine how the animal died and it was noticed that there were scars on its tail. The scars are said to have been due to the whale being caught in a fishing line earlier that week.
Washing ashore of humpback whales has become common due to many such cases being witnessed over the past year.