Local News

May 12, 2014 9:03 PM by LiLi Tan, KSBY News

Gray whale calf buried on Central Coast

The California State Parks Department buried a gray whale calf Monday morning after a pod of killer whales killed it last week.

Crews found it Saturday morning. They say it was a juvenile female gray whale measuring 24 feet. It was about four feet high when it was found on the beach.

Last week, Harbor Patrol saw more than a dozen orcas separate a gray whale and its calf.

When it washed ashore, eyewitnesses say it looked as though the orcas had eaten its head. The Harbor Department says they went after the tongue and surrounding area likely because that's the most tender part of the whale.

Crews buried the whale carcass in the sand at Morro Strand State Beach. It is about two feet below the surface, but officials say once it decomposes and sand fills in, it will be five to six feet below the surface.

"One part of us wants to leave it out there because it's part of the ecosystem and needs to get recycled back with the vultures and everything else, but it's a public beach and it's a health hazard so we ended up burying it," Harbor Director for the City of Morro Bay Eric Endersby said.

The State Parks Department says it will not mark the burial spot. It asks people to stay away from the site.

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