Whale Carcass Removed from Waimanalo - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Whale Carcass Removed from Waimanalo

Whale carcass being removed from a Waimanalo beach on Thursday. Whale carcass being removed from a Waimanalo beach on Thursday.
A dump truck hauls away the disposed whale carcass. A dump truck hauls away the disposed whale carcass.
Some collected pieces of whale blubber from the beach after its removal. Some collected pieces of whale blubber from the beach after its removal.
Waimanalo residents react to removal of whale carcass. Waimanalo residents react to removal of whale carcass.

Waimanalo (KHNL)  A whale of a problem was finally cleared up at Waimanalo Beach Thursday. After stinking up the shore for nearly a week, the state removed the carcass of a whale which washed ashore Sunday. It took two hours to remove it.

Backhoe operator Nelson Pahia drew the short straw. "Smells like hell," said Pahia.

How do you pick up a three ton decomposing whale? Pahia says it's "just like picking up Jello."

As he dragged it 100 feet down the beach, a crowd gathered and held their noses.

Scott Ishikawa of the state Department of Transportation lauds Pahia. "He had to endure this for two hours while getting this out to the truck."

Biologists took tissue samples to figure out what kind of whale it was.

Jeff Walters of the state Department of Land & Natural Resources' Whale Sanctuary division says this is not an unusual occurrence. "This happens at least two to three times a year around the state where we get a big carcass come in."

There are still pieces of the whale floating around in the water, which attracts sharks. Officials warn you to stay out of the water, within a 1 mile radius of here, for a few days.

Crews took the carcass to the dump. A two hour task, finally over. Ishikawa perhaps summed it up best. "Everybody can breath a little easier now."

Call NOAA's 24 hour "Marine Mammal Hotline" at 888-256-9840 if you see a hurt, dead, or entangled marine mammal. NOAA says in a case like this one, it would've been easier to send a boat to drag the whale carcass away from the islands instead of having to pick it up off the beach.

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