Decomposing whale carcass spotted off Big Island

Source: Joe Zappala
Source: Joe Zappala

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - Officials say the decomposing carcass of a whale is sitting in shallow water along a rocky shoreline in a residential area of the Big Island.

The fire department was alerted by someone on shore Wednesday of something large floating in the water about a mile off the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision.

A fire helicopter flew over and confirmed it was a 40- to 50-foot-long whale carcass.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokeswoman Wende Goo says the whale is now at the shoreline in Pahoa. The agency is sending people out to look at the animal on Wednesday. She says the agency doesn't yet know what type of whale it is.

She says NOAA staff will assess what can be done about the carcass.

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