Blue Whale on the Beach

Top Photo: The whale not long after he washed up on the beach. (This pic is courtesy of our park host)

While visiting the food co-op in Port Orford, we were told that a dead Blue Whale had washed up on the beach this past Monday, about fifteen miles south of town. Volunteers were currently in the process of removing the blubber to burn. So off we were to see this for ourselves.

Blue whales are the largest animals, achieving a length of about 98 feet and weighing around 200 tons. This whale was about 78 feet long & weighed about 100 tons. So to dispose of a whale carcass, this size is a major undertaking. In this case, a call went to various organizations for volunteers. They believed that this emaciated adult male blue whale was dead for two weeks before washing ashore because his internal organs were already decaying.

The site was easy to find because of all the parked cars along the side of the highway. The whale and workers were also easy to spot from the road.

An overview of the whale's remains after a lot of the blubber has been removed, along with a forklift lifting the spine.

Volunteers cutting & pulling the blubber from the carcass.

Blubber being removed from the dorsal fin.

Volunteers resting near the dorsal fin with the fire pit where the blubber is burned in the background.

Check out the news story about the whale from The Register-Guard. And if you want a good laugh scroll down their page and watch the "The Infamous Exploding Whale" video.


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