Malibu Beached Whale Shores Up Controversy

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Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP/GettyImages

Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP/GettyImages

Carson Carson Daly
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In case you haven’t heard, a magnificent 20-ton fin whale recently washed up upon the beach in Malibu. The whale died after getting hit by a boat, officials speculate.

The carcass has been decomposing for days on the shores between Paradise Cove and Point Dume. Residents are up in arms because it is emitting a horrible odor and presents a health risk to the nearby homes.

So what’s the hold up? Officials are fighting over which agency is responsible for removing it. According to the Associated Press, Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors spokeswoman Carol Baker said her agency was not responsible for disposing of the whale because it is sitting upon an area that is designated a “private beach.”

Carson called up Peter Wallerstein from the non-profit animal advocacy organization Marine Animal Rescue to get the lowdown on the whole situation.

“There’s always been a lot of finger pointing with dead animals and who’s responsible for them to remove them in Malibu, from seals to sea lions to this whale,” Wallerstein told Carson this morning. “Because of the private beaches, because of inaccessibility, and in this case, the condition of the whale’s body, [it] complicates the issues. So, you know, there’s a number of things going on, but it still should be dealt with.”

Even more disturbing, the carcass has become a bit of a tourist attraction. People are coming down to the beach to take photos, bringing along their babies and dogs. Wallerstein touched upon why this could potentially pose a dangerous health risk.

“It is a dead, decomposing body. We’re not sure whatever else was bothering that whale, what might’ve killed it beside the ship strike. Something else might’ve been going on with that, so the best thing to do is just people, stay away from it.”

Listen to Carson’s full conversation with Peter Wallerstein below:


-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles

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