By Dean Calbreath / SignOnSanDiego / November 21, 2011
A dead 50-foot fin whale could remain beached in a Point Loma cove for the next couple of days, as a removal team waits for favorable tides to help in an effort to transport it to a landfill.
The whale, which was discovered about 2 p.m. Saturday by workers at the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, will probably be removed Tuesday or Wednesday, said San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Greg Buchanan. The lifeguard service is coordinating the removal with local and federal agencies.
The chief reason for the delay is to wait for tides that will make it easier to dislodge the creature and pull it into deeper waters, Buchanan said.
In the meantime, lifeguards will be working with other agencies to determine the best way of handling the body, including the Coast Guard, San Diego Parks and Recreations Department, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Marine Fisheries Service, which is studying the corpse to see how it died.
The fin whale, also called the finback or razorback, is the second-largest living animal after the blue whale, and can grow to nearly 90 feet long. Like many whales, its numbers were devastated during by whaling ships in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
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