ENCINITAS (CNS) - Authorities solved a stubborn and putrid problem today when they removed the badly decomposed carcass of a humpback whale from a stretch of ocean shoreline in Leucadia.
Lifeguards and a contractor crew cut the roughly 45-foot-long dead cetacean into three sections and loaded them into a large trash bin via a backhoe and a front-end loader, getting the remains off of Grandview Beach and en route to Miramar Landfill by about 9:30 a.m.
"Wally the Whale,'' as the carcass came to be known, first washed ashore in Los Angeles about two weeks ago, and prior attempts at towing it out to sea ended with it drifting back onto Southern California beaches. It came ashore the final time near the foot of Neptune Avenue late Saturday afternoon.
Last Wednesday, sheriff's deputies in Dana Point spent several hours towing the dead whale back out to sea after it drifted toward shore. It previously had washed up in Newport Beach and at Dockweiler State Beach in Los Angeles County.
On Sunday, an attempt to remove the roughly 22-ton carcass failed when two tires on a piece of heavy equipment popped under its weight, Encinitas lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles said.
The cause of the giant sea mammal's death was unknown, according to Giles.