Dead whale a smelly problem in Malibu

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MALIBU (CNS) – Authorities today may try to remove a 20-ton dead whale that washed up on a Malibu beach earlier this week.

The 41-foot male fin whale washed up Monday between Paradise Cove and Point Dume, and a necropsy done Tuesday by marine experts with the California Wildlife Center suggested it had been hit by a ship. Among its injuries was gash to the back and vertebrae damage.

Olivia Damavandi, a spokesperson for the city of Malibu, said state, county and parks officials were trying to figure out how to remove the carcass.

The first attempt may be made later today, Damavandi said.

Fin whales, the second largest behind blue whales, can grow to be about 85 feet. Naturalists estimate that about 2,300 live off the California Coast. They are a type of baleen whale, meaning they use sieve-like structures in their mouths to filter food from the water, unlike toothed whales such as orcas.

Dead whales are typically towed about 10 miles out to sea, where they are devoured by sharks and other creatures.

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