Dead Whale Washes Ashore Near Border

The whale is believed to be the same one beached in Point Loma last week

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It's back! Officials believe a dead whale found in Imperial Beach is the same one that floated into a Point Loma cove last week. NBC 7's Matt Rascon reports.

    A big, smelly problem has washed ashore yet again on a San Diego County beach. 

    A dead whale was discovered lying in the Border Field State Park near Monument Road, about a mile north of the U.S.-Mexico Border on Sunday, said Oscar Alvarez with Imperial Beach lifeguards.

    Officials believe it is the same fin whale that was beached at Point Loma last week and later towed out to sea by The Marine Conservation Science Institute (MCSI) and San Diego lifeguards.
    The 40-foot carcass was taken to the 9-Mile Bank, but according to an MCSI Facebook post, the whale had already started drifting south when the tow line snapped. 
    Apparently it wasn't towed far enough. 
    "Welcome back whale," a comment on the post read.

    Still, the newly beached animal has become an impromptu attraction for tourists and locals alike.

    Some families and couples spent their Memorial Day weekendg hiking to get a glimpse of the creature. 

    "I think it's pretty cool," said visitor Josh Vannorman. "I'm a teacher, so this is like hands-on learning at its finest. 

    Young Jessica Michel and her family hiked for what she said "seemed like forever" to reach the whale. 

    Jessica, who hopes to be a biologist one day, told NBC 7 it was worth the trip.

    "Because I really wanted to see a dead whale because I've never seen a whale in my life," she said.

    But all the visitors had one big complaint: the smell. 

    "Ugh, bad. I don't even know how to describe it," said Denise Madrid. 

    "I'm glad we had the barbecue before," Vannorman chimed in.

    Authorities have not said what they plan to do with the whale, if anything. 

    People who spoke with NBC 7 had a number of suggestions -- none of which were totally ideal or foolproof. 

    But everyone could agree that officials should not blow it up. That plan horribly backfired in Oregon years ago

    "Well, hopefully there's a pretty high tide that takes it," said Cesar Camacho. "They tried dragging it out once. I mean, not much they can do any more. Wait for it to go away. Oh, that smell though -- woo!"

    It falls to the State Parks Department to handle. When Tijuana River Valley resident Lorie Donner asked a ranger if they were going to close the beach down to keep people away from the disease-ridden carcass, she said she was told "Nope, if they get sick, it's their own fault." 

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