Stench of rotting whale carcass overwhelms beachgoers on Lanai

Stench of rotting whale carcass overwhelms beachgoers on Lanai
The smelly carcass is located in a non-residential area on the north-east side of the island. (Source: Nick Palumbo)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The smelly carcass of a massive whale has been rotting near the shoreline of a Lanai beach for about three weeks, and officials say they doubt they’ll be able to do anything to dispose of it.

The carcass is believed to be that of a sperm whale and was first reported near shore on January 9, a NOAA spokesperson said Friday.

Photos of the carcass taken this week appear to marks that resemble those of a shark bite, and dead whales are a well-known food source for sharks and other large predators.

The sperm whale was first reported near the Lanai shore on January 9, 2020.
The sperm whale was first reported near the Lanai shore on January 9, 2020. (Source: Nick Palumbo)

Now that the carcass has washed up on shore, NOAA officials say they’ll be unlikely to remove it the way they have done other carcasses in the past.

“The whale is in a location where towing to sea or burial on land is not possible due to its location, weather, and wind action,” said “The whale carcass will be left in place to decompose and will be monitored by the agencies and stakeholders.”

Members of the public are advised to stay a safe distance from the carcass, as it can carry and spread diseases.

An investigation is under way to determine the animal’s cause of death.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.