Free sperm whale: Beached, dead & soon to decompose … but hey, free whale

Cape St. George in Newfoundland and Labrador has a whale of a problem. A dead sperm whale recently washed on the beach near the community of 950. Naturally, the town turned to eBay, the online auction site, to offload the carcass. Here’s the ad:

“This 40 foot sperm whale rolled up on the beach last week. The actual seller is the town of Cape St. George which is responsible for disposing of it before it starts to decay. Once the fat and flesh is removed you have a spectacular 40 foot skeleton of the largest toothed whale in the world, great for museums and other attractions. To prevent it rotting in the town it can be towed to isolated beaches on the Port au Port Peninsula to allow the seagulls and other birds to remove the flesh. Call 709-644-2290 or 709-649-7070 for more details.”

There were dozens of bidders as offers rang in at up to $2,000, but then eBay shut down the auction. And, the federal government also threatened to sue.  The town’s mayor, Peter Fenwick, lamented the stink caused by the situation in a news release.

“Ebay has removed our sperm whale from their site for violating their marine mammal policy. We have also been threatened with legal action by the Federal Department of Environment. However the whale is still on the beach slowly decomposing and attracting flies. If anyone wants a free sperm whale please contact the Town at 709-644-2290. If you can pay to remove it we will give it to you,” he said.

Meanwhile, blue whale carcasses that have washed ashore elsewhere in Newfoundland will be picked up by the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, according to the Toronto Star. The animals died when they were crushed and suffocated in swift-moving sea ice last month. There were fears the bloated remains would explode, but scientists quickly quelled worries. The dead whales would simply deflate.

h/t The Globe and Mail Photo eBay/Cape St. George



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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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