ANDREW CHARLTON and SAXON DURRANT
A 30-tonne whale carcass has finally been removed from Scarborough Beach, two days after it washed ashore.
The animal’s remains were lifted onto a truck last night with cranes and heavy earthmoving equipment and taken to the Tamala Park landfill in Perth’s northern suburbs.
Surrounding beaches will stay closed because authorities fear remaining pieces of the animal’s flesh could attract sharks.
City of Stirling spokesman John Snook said no sharks had been sighted since the carcass was removed, but the council would take all necessary precautions to ensure the beaches were safe before they were re-opened.
“Stirling’s beach inspectors will be making a decision tomorrow morning as to whether the beaches are safe to go swimming,” he said.
Mr Snook said the decision would be made with the help of Surf Life Saving WA’s helicopter.
Removing the 17m humpback whale proved more difficult than the City of Stirling had anticipated and ended up costing the council more than $100,000.
The council was under growing pressure to remove the whale because it was attracting a large number of sharks and overwhelming beachgoers with its foul stench.
After being transported last night, the whale again attracted controversy by being left on the side of Marmion Avenue through the night and in the early morning.
Mindarie Regional Council chief executive officer Brian Callander said “a bit of a miscommunication between the council and the contractor” had seen it left on the side of the road.
Its final resting place was an 18-metre trench, which was surrounded by other rubbish.
One local business manager said he was glad that the whale was gone.
“The smell was so bad on Sunday we had to close all the windows and we had to stick inside,” he said.