Whale carcass headed to landfill

Posted at 10:45 AM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-09 19:45:42-05

SAN DIEGO - The carcass of a young humpback whale that washed ashore at Silver Strand State Beach following this week's storms was hauled away Wednesday to a South Bay landfill.

The lifeless whale was found Tuesday morning, sprawled on the shoreline just beyond the high-tide water line. It had earlier been spotted floating in the ocean near Coronado, city spokeswoman Lea Corbin said.

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration performed postmortem tests on the remains of the 23.6-foot-long mammal for research purposes.

The team determined that the whale, a male, had been roughly a year old at the time of its death and had suffered traumatic injuries, including fractures and hemorrhages, that likely led to its demise, NOAA research fisheries biologist Kerri Danil said.

The wounds could have resulted from a collision with a boat or ship, Danil said.

On Wednesday morning, a private firm hired by the California Department of Parks and Recreation loaded the carcass onto a truck and hauled it to Otay Landfill in Chula Vista, said Robin Greene, district superintendent for the state agency's San Diego Coast District. The workers had the remains off the beach by shortly before noon, she said.