Crews haul rotting whale carcass off Bolsa Chica State Beach

Local news
Scientists from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center of Laguna Beach on May 20, 2021, take samples and study an endangered fin whale that washed up at Bolsa Chica State Beach. (Raul Roa / L.A. Times Community News)

Scientists from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center of Laguna Beach on May 20, 2021, take samples and study an endangered fin whale that washed up at Bolsa Chica State Beach. (Raul Roa / L.A. Times Community News)

Crews have hauled away the rotting carcass of a dead fin whale that washed ashore and prompted the closure of a Southern California beach.

A section of Bolsa Chica State Beach was shut down Friday after the Orange County Health Care Agency determined that the decomposing remains posed a health hazard.

Over the weekend, it was cut apart and scooped up by heavy loaders and carried off to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, the Orange County Register reported Monday.

During the few days it was stuck on the sand, the stinking carcass drew a steady stream of onlookers and people taking selfies with the gigantic creature, the newspaper said. The fin whale is second largest mammal in the world behind the blue whale.

Authorities believe the whale is one of two that were struck by an Australian navy ship two weeks ago and then towed out to sea from San Diego.

Bolsa Chica is about 90 miles up the coast from San Diego Bay.

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