SEASIDE, Ore. – It’s so bad, you can practically smell it from here.
A 40-foot grey whale began washing up on the beach at Seaside, leaving a big mess for cleanup crews and a powerful odor for everybody in the general vicinity on Tuesday.
“It’s really smelly,” said Keith Chandler, the general manager of the Seaside Aquarium. “We’re quite a ways away from it and I can smell the whale. So after it gets totally beached, people are probably gonna want to stay away from it because it’s really nasty."
Chandler and his team examined and measured the creature on Tuesday afternoon during low tide. He says they'll work with the city to bury it in the sand before sunrise on Wednesday.
There were no plans to blow it up, like what happened with another whale in the 1970s in Florence.
Even though this whale won't be on the beach much longer, the dead creature attracted a hundred people circled it, poking it, and posing in pictures in front of it.
“You don’t want your pets getting on it and rolling on it. It’d really be a horrible way to spend your vacation," said Chandler."
Chandler said the whale has been dead for quite a while, but is only now washing in to shore. The carcass is in the surf near Seaside beach, after first being spotted in the south jetty at Fort Stevens State Park on Sunday.
He said once his team is done collecting data from it, the city of Seaside will come bury it.
In the meantime, Chandler suggested steering clear.
“It’s interesting to come look at, but I’d keep distance,” he said. “Don’t try to mess with it, cause it’s really a nasty smelling thing.
“I don’t think you’re gonna want to smell like this whale.”
Another marine biologist measured and examined the whale too -- Gracey Seager said it appeared to be a full-grown male with no obvious injuries or signs of what killed it.
Seager said its skin was rubbed off, suggesting it had been floating -- and dead-- for several months.
"It could have died of old age," she said.
She said there were no obvious attack marks and therefore no apparent indication it was killed by another animal.