KEALIA, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The sperm whale carcass that washed ashore in Kealia over the weekend is now gone.
Kealia Beach was temporarily closed as the carcass was onshore, and swimmers were advised to stay out of the water.
In the rolling tide, a NOAA spokesman said the body of the whale broke off and floated out to sea. Only the head, which weighed an estimated 30,000 pounds, remained on shore by Sunday.
It was a coordinated effort to get the remains into a dump truck. The state hired two excavators to bury the giant head up the coast following a traditional Hawaiian blessing.
UH scientists also took a blubber sample for genetic testing.
The beach was reopen by Monday.
If you come across a carcass or other stranded animal, you can reach the NOAA hotline for stranded wildlife at 888-256-9840.