Agencies working to extricate a dead whale from a cove in Point Loma made another discovery late Monday. A fin whale fetus was attached to the dead 50-foot fin whale.
Scientists believe the gases from the decomposing whale may have forced the unborn whale out of its mother, according to Jim Milbury, a spokesperson with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
A necropsy is scheduled for Wednesday on the adult whale. San Diego lifeguards believe their best window for removing it from the cove near the Point Loma Waste Treatment Plant on Gatchell Road is Wednesday at 6.50 a.m.
“Mother Nature is ultimately in charge,” said San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Greg Buchanan.
The fin whale washed up Saturday.
Removing the carcass has presented quite a challenge for lifeguards. In terms of size, fin whales are second only to the enormous blue whale and can weigh up to 70-tons.
The area where the whale washed up is a secluded cove with no public access. Lifeguards are waiting until the tide is high enough to tow the whale away.
“It’s a pretty deep channel down there, so we’ll be able to get, hopefully, our boat in pretty close to tow it out,” said Lt. Greg Buchanan.
Once the whale has been removed it will be taken to Fiesta Island where scientists will determine how it died and then it will be hauled to the Miramar Landfill.
About nine whales have washed ashore in San Diego County over the last fifteen years, according to lifeguards.