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Blue whale washes up on Oregon Coast

The whale washed ashore Monday morning about 7 miles north of Gold Beach in Curry County and is visible from Highway 101. The state parks department is leading the effort to remove the carcass. Oregon State Parks photo

GOLD BEACH, Ore. - The skeleton of a 78-foot blue whale that washed ashore Monday will be preserved and put on display in Newport.

But first, students from the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center and other volunteers have to strip the 4-inch thick blubber from the carcass of the whale, said Calum Stevenson, an ocean shore specialist with Oregon Parks and Recreation.

Stevenson said work to strip the carcass will likely continue through the weekend.

Normal protocol would be to bury the carcass, but it is rare for a blue whale to come this close to the Oregon Coast - thus plans to try to preserve the skeleton for display at the marine science center, Stevenson said.

The whale washed ashore Monday morning about 7 miles north of Gold Beach in Curry County and is visible from Highway 101. The state parks department is leading the effort to remove the carcass.

Stevenson said the whale was already dead when it washed ashore. He said there were what appeared to be bite marks that indicate it may have been killed by an orca. The whale might also have been hit by a large boat.

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