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Jun-27-2013 16:55printcomments

Whale Carcass Washes Ashore

Tampering with or collecting pieces from a dead whale is prohibited by federal law.

Dead whale
Photo by Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.

(BROOKINGS OR) - A 40' sperm whale carcass washed ashore near Chetco Point in Curry County early in the morning on June 27.

The whale is already heavily decomposed and resting on a beach where the sand is shallow, so no attempt will be made to bury it.

State park staff will rope off an area around the whale carcass. Visitors are encouraged to view the whale from a distance (upwind is strongly recommended), but not to approach it for health and safety reasons.

Pets should be kept on a tight leash to prevent them from coming in contact with the carcass.

Tampering with or collecting pieces from a dead whale is prohibited by federal law.

The carcass will decompose naturally, be picked apart by scavengers such as gulls and turkey vultures, or be carried back out on the high tide.

Dead whales and other marine mammals are not uncommon on the Oregon shore, but sperm whales are rarer than grey whales.

Chetco Point is just west of the Brookings Harbor. The closest state park beach is at Harris Beach State Park (http://tinyurl.com/kthjmqb), about 1 mile north of downtown Brookings.

Source: Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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