In order to get rid of the rotting whale carcass that washed up on a private Malibu beach, a local homeowners association took matters into its own hands and hired a tugboat that pulled the whale carcass out to sea late Saturday.
According to NBC News, the carcass was of a 40-foot fin whale that washed up between Paradise Cove and Point Dume.
The whale appeared to have suffered injuries after being hit by a ship. The fin whale had a gash on its back and a damaged spine. According to the results of a necropsy by the California Wildlife Center, it was already dead when it washed ashore.
The fin whale carcass spent several days decaying while government officials argued over whose responsibility it was to remove it.
Malibu spokeswoman Olivia Damavandi told NBC News on Friday Morning, “We have not yet been informed of any removal plans.”
The Times reported that burying the carcass on the beach, carving it up and setting the pieces on fire, and towing it out to sea were a couple of the removal methods considered.
Even though authorities said towing the whale carcass to sea was no longer feasible on Thursday, Fire Inspector Brian Riley told the newspaper that a homeowners association hired a private tugboat to remove the remains.
They towed the whale carcass out to sea about 20 miles offshore.
Fin whales are listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. They can grow to up to 85 feet, weigh up to 80 tons and live for up to 90 years.