MALIBU, Calif. (AP) — The decaying corpse of a huge fin whale was a sad spectacle Friday on the shore of a cove where it washed ashore nearly a week earlier.
With no government agency taking action to remove the rapidly rotting mammal from Little Dume beach, it appeared that the job would be left to decomposition and nature's scavengers.
A few people wandered down the narrow beach at the foot of a high coastal bluff to look at the remains — white bones, rolls of blubber and the tail flukes trailing along the water's edge.
The smell had largely faded away, but still attached to the shoes of those who came near. Some people took pictures, a boy poked the bones and dogs sniffed it.
"It's really sad that this is my first time seeing a whale," said Ingrid De La O, a Malibu resident. "It's mind-boggling to see this immense huge thing that lives in the water."
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. Access is extremely limited and curious beachcombers had to hike on the sand from the few public parking lots farther up the beach.