Sperm whale carcass removed from Heeia Harbor

Published On: Oct 26 2013 10:25:00 AM HST

A massive whale carcass drifting offshore is now in a Waimanalo landfill.
The effort to dispose of the animal was a lot harder than expected.

HEEIA KEA, Hawaii -

State officials worked to remove a whale carcass from Heeia Kea Small Boat Harbor Saturday.

The 55-foot male sperm whale was towed to the boat harbor Friday night.

Saturday morning crews used heavy equipment to haul the carcass out of the water.

The crews tried to hoist the whale in one piece onto a truck but the carcass proved to be too heavy.

Officials estimated its weight at about 60 tons.

Crews then started to cut the animal into smaller pieces and load them into a truck.

The remains were to be taken to the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill near Kahe Point for disposal.

The whale was spotted Wednesday about 12 miles off Kaneohe Bay. By Friday it had drifted into waters off Kualoa Beach Park.

Sharks were spotted feeding on the rotting animal. Officials considered towing it out to sea. But Board of Land and Natural Resources chairman William Aila said that an analysis of the current weather patterns determined that the carcass would have just floated back to Kualoa or some other part of Oahu.

With that in mind the state decided to tow the carcass to Heeia Kea and remove it Saturday morning.

Ocean Safety officials said three sharks six-to-eight-feet long were spotted in the waters off Kualoa Saturday morning.

Shark warning signs were posted at Kualoa and lifeguards were urging beachgoers to stay out of the water.

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