36-foot sperm whale washes ashore

Tiffany Boothe/Seaside Aquarium

A 36-foot sperm whale washed ashore near the Peter Iredale ship wreckage in Warrenton this week.

Seaside Aquarium officials say the whale was first spotted off the coast of Newport last Tuesday, and then continued moving north due to strong winds. It was found about 4 miles west of Camp Rilea Sunday and eventually washed ashore 2 miles north of the Peter Iredale wreckage Monday morning.

Officials say the whale has been dead for "quite some time." Everything aside from the whale's lower jaw will remain on the beach "for nature to take its course."

The stinky, decomposing whale attracted a few visitors Wednesday.

"I've lived on the coast for 10 years and this is my first dead whale," Mark Titcomb said. "Downwind of it is definitely odoriferous to say the least. It's a unique smell."

Chris Vancura made the short trip from Hammond to check it out.

"It's hard to even tell that it is a whale," Vancura told KATU. "It's pretty exposed and decaying, so there's not a whole lot to see."

The last sperm whale that washed ashore on the northern Oregon coast was in 2012.

Possession of the whale's bones is illegal.

Clearly, Seaside Aquarium officials are letting nature take its course rather than blow up the whale:

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