Giant sperm whale washes up on beach, prompts shark alert
A dead sperm whale has washed up on a popular tourist beach in Western Australia, leaving authorities with the massive task of removing it.
The carcass was initially spotted last week when it became caught in a reef offshore from Hopetoun, 574km southeast of Perth, on Sunday afternoon and by Monday the whale had been washed onto the beach.
The town is a popular tourist destination, especially over the Christmas period, raising concerns that the carcass might attract sharks and pose a risk to swimmers.
"Obviously a rotting carcass, with the lovely aroma it gives off, plus the leaching of the waste into the water and the ground didn't make for a good environment," Shire of Ravensthorpe chief executive Ian Fitzgerald told ABC.
"Plus the attraction of sharks to the area does not help. It's a popular swimming area, not that far from Hopetoun itself."
Workers have used a digger and bulldozer to roll the whale onto a tarp and cargo net so it can be removed from the beach.