Dead whale gets buried under Seaside beach

Dead whale gets buried under Seaside beach

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 1:22 PM

SEASIDE, Ore. --  A 40-foot dead and decomposing gray whale washed ashore near  Seaside Tuesday.

The whale was buried Wednesday morning in the sand after it had washed up near the popular Seaside turnaround the day before.

Watch City of Seaside bury the whale

The whale originally appeared on the South Jetty at Fort Stevens State Park last Sunday, then resurfaced later in Seaside.

Photos: Gray whale on Seaside beach

Witnesses said the smell from the decomposing whale was "very nasty."

"When the wind gusts, it's really bad. It's not fun," said Rebecca Sarpola, who lives in Seaside.

A marine biologist took samples from the whale to try and figure out how it died.

Watch YouTube video and interview about Seaside whale here:

"It doesn't look skinny, it's been dead a long time," said Keith Chandler with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.  "So it will be tough to tell what killed it."

Another dead whale in Long Beach

Just a month ago, another dead gray whale washed up in Long Beach.  That whale was a female, estimated to be about 14 months old.  Jessie Huggins with Cascadia Research told KGW she appeared to be malnourished and that was the most likely cause of death.

He said samples did not show any evidence of a ship strike or entanglement.

"Due to the limited sampling undertaken and because it was already moderately decomposed, we will not be able to test any tissues for disease processes," Huggins added.

Back on Nov. 12, 1970, Oregon caught national attention when the state decided to blow up a 45-foot-long sperm whale, estimated to weigh 8 tons, that had washed up on the beach near Florence.

More: ODOT engineer of '70 beached whale blast dies

They thought at the time that blowing up the whale was a better option than trying to bury it.

Local TV caught the whale "removal" on camera as giant chunks of whale carcass fell to Earth pelting bystanders and cars.

Watch original TV report on whale explosion

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