Rotting whale becomes sad spectacle in Malibu

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Associated Press

Posted on December 8, 2012 at 1:30 AM

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) — With no government agency taking action to remove a rapidly rotting whale carcass from Little Dume beach, it appears that the job will be left to decomposition and nature's scavengers.

White bones, rolls of blubber and the tail flukes are all that remain of the fin whale. The smell has largely faded away.

The 40-foot-long, 40,000-pound juvenile male washed ashore Monday near Point Dume, which marks the western end of Santa Monica Bay, about 30 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.

The homes and estates of celebrities and other wealthy line the cliffs high above the slender beach.

Resident James Respondek worried that the carcass would draw sharks that could pose a threat to his young daughter, who swims in the cove. He said he was frustrated that no agency would remove the carcass.

SOUND:

<<CUT *282 (12/07/12)>> 00:10 "in the water"

Ingrid De La O, Malibu resident

Malibu resident Ingrid De La O wandered down the beach to look at the whale corpse.

<<CUT *283 (12/07/12)>> 00:04 "by a ship"

Jonsie Ross, marine mammal coordinator, California Wildlife Center

Jonsie Ross, with the California Wildlife Center, says the whale was probably injured before washing ashore.

<<CUT *284 (12/07/12)>> 00:07 "about 40,000 pounds"

Jonsie Ross, marine mammal coordinator, California Wildlife Center

Jonsie Ross, with the California Wildlife Center, says the whale that washed ashore was an endangered variety.

<<CUT *285 (12/07/12)>> 00:15 "have the resources"

James Respondek, real estate agent

Real estate agent James Respondek says he called lifeguards, state parks and wildlife officials to see about getting the whale carcass off the beach.

<<CUT *286 (12/07/12)>> 00:08 "take its course"

Ben Dossett, Malibu resident

Malibu resident Ben Dossett says it's too bad that no one's taken responsibility for removing the decaying whale corpse.

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