A powerfully putrid whale carcass that twice washed ashore on North County beaches last week was finally disposed of Tuesday.
Starting about 7 a.m., California State Parks personnel used a heavy skip loader to hoist the roughly 25-foot cetacean into a hauler truck at Torrey Pines State Beach, department spokesman Brian Ketterer said.
The crew got the heavily decomposed and highly foul-smelling remains of the gray whale off the sand and on the road, en route to its final final destination of Miramar Landfill, by shortly before 9 a.m., Ketterer said.
The dead leviathan first came ashore in Del Mar late Thursday or early Friday. Lifeguards hauled the carcass about five miles to sea and set it adrift, believing it would remain in the ocean for good.
The next day, however, it reappeared on the state beach north of La Jolla.
The as-yet undetermined cost of disposing of the huge carcass will be shared by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the city of Del Mar, according to Ketterer.