28-Foot Decomposing Dead Sperm Whale Washes on San Jose Island

Nov 25, 2016 08:30 AM EST

The carcass of a giant, 28-foot beached sperm whale was found on San Jose Island and will likely stay there while marine experts figure out what to do with the dead animal.

The female sperm whale was discovered on Monday on a private property located in the north of Port Aransas. In an interview with Corpus Christis television station Kris, Tony Amos, Port Aransas Coordinator with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, said the mammal could have been dead for a while before it was found on San Jose Island's shore because it was in "bad shape."

Authorities have taken samples of the decaying carcass to pinpoint the sperm whale's cause of death. With regard to disposing the body, Amos said that there's still no proposed way of removing the body except for just letting it naturally decompose on the shore. To add to the problem, the Federal Marine Mammals Act states that it's illegal to touch a whale even though it's dead.

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"It's not something you can hook up to a pickup truck and haul it off. It's on San Jose Island, which is privately owned and there's no access except by boat. That's the dilemma right there," Amos told Caller-Times.

Meanwhile, authorities are urging locals to stay away from the dead sperm whale as it may carry a lot of bacteria and could be a health hazard.

"It could be a source of disease, especially as it's decomposing. You can imagine a carcass, 28-foot of decomposing in the sun," Amos said in an interview with Kiitv.

It has been eight years since a giant whale washed up in the area. The last occurrence was in June 2008.

This week on Wednesday, officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) euthanized a long humpback whale stranded on the shore of Long Island.

The said whale measures 25-foot long and approximately weighs 20 tons. The mammal has been stranded on Moriches Bay in Long Island for 10 days and had extensive skin injuries, infection and neurological problems. NOAA officials decided to euthanize the humpback whale after several efforts to free the stuck whale from the sandbar.

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