It’s a whale of a problem.
The small coastal town of Logy Bay in Newfoundland has been having some large and rather smelly problems recently, and they can’t seem to be able to do much about it.
The town, situated north of Saint John’s has had a dead and rotting humpback whale wash up on its shore.
“Someone get a whale removal machine to Outer Cove beach because yuck b’y,” tweeted Kerri MacDonald, a writer from the nearby town of Middle Cove.
The whale is about 12 meters long and is believed by research scientist Jack Lawson to have been dead for many weeks, judging by how decomposed it is.
“It’s kind of collapsed into what looks like a big, flabby, pleated bag. The rocks were quite slick with fresh whale fat and people were wandering around and someone even put their dog on top of the whale to let it run around,” said Lawson.
Originally the residents of Logy Bay were hoping that the whale would get dragged back out to sea by the tide, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere so now they need to come up with a plan before the weather heats up and the issue becomes more serious.
“It smells like a dead whale and it’s not a very nice smell, I can tell ya that. The weather here hasn’t been warm, but when it warms up it’s only going to get worse,” said Logy Bay mayor John Kennedy to GlobalNews.
In order to begin touching the whale the town needs to come up with a plan of action and wait for government approval, because nothing can just be as simple as hooking on and towing it away. A $30,000 grant is available to the town if they apply for it through the Department of Municipal Affairs, the town was told on Wednesday.
Whales and other dead sea creatures washing ashore on Newfoundland beaches is not an uncommon thing due to the abundance of bait fish off the coast. Most recently a blue whale was towed onto the shores which had died in 2014 but was still fairly well preserved. The bones from this blue whale are going to be put on display so the public can see truly how large they are.
“These particular samples that we got from Newfoundland will be very important baseline data for future research into not only the evolution of whales, but also their conservation,” says Burton Lim an assistant curator of mammalogy at the Royal Ontario Museum.
So if a whale ever washes ashore near you you’re going to have to put up with it for some time while researchers take samples and do their thing. After that the whales are usually either towed ashore or out to sea, except for some special cases where they are blow up (yeah it didn’t end well).
The best thing to do? Let nature take its course.