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High tide and winds help whale carcass float away from small Newfoundland town


Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Monday, May 12, 2014, 8:50 AM - The remains of a whale the small town of Cape St. George, Newfoundland recently tried to sell on eBay have floated away.

Officials say the combination of high tide, large swells and a westerly wind helped to push the 40-foot sperm whale along the shore to communities east of Cape St. George over the weekend.


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When last seen the whale had cleared the last house in Marche's Point, headed east, according to the Corner Brook Western Star.

Last week, the town made headlines when trying to list the beached whale carcass on eBay, a move Cape St. George Mayor Peter Fenwick said "at the time was an attempt to put it to use and rid the town of what could eventually be a smelly, rotting health hazard," the Western Star says.

Dead whale in Cape St. George, Newfoundland was put up for auction (eBay)

Dead whale in Cape St. George, Newfoundland was put up for auction (eBay)

The town was eventually asked to remove the add after the federal department of the environment said that you’re not allowed to sell any parts of sperm whales, even if they’re dead.

"We were debating among ourselves the best way to use the whale and were making plans to bury it on the beach until the flesh decomposed and the skeleton could be salvaged," Mayor Peter Fenwick said in a statement on Saturday.

Fenwick says given the costly efforts underway by the Royal Ontario Museum to remove a pair of blue whale carcasses from beaches in Trout River and Rocky Harbour, the latest development of the whale floating away could be the most economical solution for his town.

DISMANTLING A DEAD WHALE

The Royal Ontario Museum sought out the stinky opportunity to dismantle the rotting corpse of the dead whale that floated to shore in Trout River, Newfoundland last month.

Last week the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced it had entered into an agreement with the ROM to remove the whale.

The researchers plan to preserve the whales' skeletons and collect tissue samples.

Mark Engstrom, the ROM's deputy director of collections and research, estimates the skeletons should be ready to be sent to the ROM in a couple of weeks.

Once the salvaging of the Trout River whale carcass is complete, Engstrom said they will move on to work on the beached Rocky Harbour whale, according to the CBC.

The loss of the whales attracted both national and international interest and became somewhat of a tourist site. Officials however, feared that the decaying blue whales that washed up on their beach, would soon explode if not dealt with immediately.

For those disappointed by the non-explosion of the dead whales, have no fear as there are still plenty of disgusting things to see.

With files from CBC

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