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Crew tows dead whale out to sea

– A tugboat towed the decomposing carcass of a whale from a Malibu beach out to sea, several days after it washed ashore and created a stench near the homes of movie stars and millionaires.

The remains of the 40,000-pound fin whale were towed Saturday about 20 miles from shore by a crew hired by a homeowners’ association, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Brian Riley said.

The 40-foot-long juvenile male washed ashore Dec. 3 near Point Dume, attracting onlookers who wandered down the narrow beach to look at the remains. Massive estates line the cliffs high above the beach.

Jonsie Ross, marine mammal coordinator for the California Wildlife Center, said an inspection of the whale’s injury suggests it was hit by a ship. No government agency took action to remove the decomposing whale. Fin whales are endangered, and about 2,300 live along the West Coast. They’re the second-largest species of whale after blue whales and can grow up to 85 feet, weigh up to 80 tons and live to be 90 years old.

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