SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - A dead whale turned up Monday in the ocean off the coast of Torrey Pines State Reserve, authorities reported.
Lifeguards spotted the carcass drifting in the swells near Black's Beach about 11 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
After consulting with the National Marine Fisheries Service, lifeguards decided to tow the remains of the cetacean to Fiesta Island, SDFRD spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.
NOAA in Long Beach told News 8 the gray whale is so decomposed that if towed out to sea the whale would most likely make its way back to shore.
"At this point it may be difficult for the examiner to tell the difference in hemorrhaging and decomposition because it's so far gone, but one thing decomposition can't hide is broken bones. If they were broken bones, it would be blunt trauma or vessel strike," said Justin Greenman, NOAA - Assistant California Stranding Network Coordinator.
On Tuesday morning, city Parks and Recreation staffers hauled the carcass to a municipal landfill for disposal.
December through May is the time of year more gray whales and calves are seen migrating north to feed.
Chopper 8 aerials of crews hauling off dead whale carcass in Mission Bay. (March 27, 2018)
Chopper 8 aerials of dead whale carcass found floating off Black's Beach. (March 27, 2018.)