A rare find off the coast of La Jolla was discovered Saturday morning. The decomposing carcass of a 45 foot long whale was found near La Jolla Children's Pool, where lifeguards slowly and carefully hauled the whale to shore.
It took lifeguards nearly six hours to tow the rotting carcass of what is believed to be a fin whale from the rocky La Jolla shoreline to the soft sands of Fiesta Island.
The animal was spotted two miles west of the Children's Pool around 9 a.m. Saturday.
Lifeguards used a large net to haul the decomposing creature away from the shore, because they didn't want it to get stuck in a cove and pollute the area with its foul odor. They also say they needed to get it out of the water before an approaching storm made for rough seas.
Experts from the National Marine Fisheries Service are examining the whale to officially determine what type it is and are taking tissue samples to figure out how it died.
A tractor scooped the remains and a truck will be taking it to the Miramar landfill.
So far, there's no word on the cause of the huge creature's death.
Dead whales wash ashore a couple of times a year. They're usually gray whales, which migrate from Baja California to the Gulf of Alaska. Fin whales can grow between 65 to 85 feet long and can live more than 90 years. They weigh around 150,000 pounds.