Wally The Whale's Rotting Corpse Refuses To Leave Orange County, Again
Wally, the spunky (but dead) humpback whale that initially washed ashore at Dockweiler State Beach on July 1, just doesn't know how to quit you, Southern California coastline. For those keeping score at home, Thursday marked the sixth time Wally has had to be towed out to sea, according to the Orange County Register—this time, from the waters off San Clemente State Beach.Dubbed "Wally" by Orange County scientists who had studied the whale for years, efforts by lifeguards to tow the whale's 45-foot-long carcass back to sea for a proper ocean burial have so far failed, over and over again. Turns out, disposing of a rotting, stinky whale corpse is more complicated than simply hoping it'll drift far enough out to sea that nature will, well, take care of it. Wally has not gone gently into that good night.
On Monday, we reported that Wally's body had floated back towards Newport Beach, just over a week after it had been towed out to sea by lifeguards. But, because of a strong south wind, Wally returned to shore again, and lifeguards once again attempted to haul her (yes, Wally is a female whale) back out into the ocean.
The L.A. Times wrote that it took lifeguards three-and-a-half hours to transport the whale 10 miles off shore.
But, no—that wasn't good enough, either. According to the Register, Wally's corpse was seen about two miles from Cotton’s Point, at which point lifeguards decided to tow him even further out—possibly 10 miles from the shoreline. Lifeguard Mark Allen told the Register that a 15-foot shark seemed interested in Wally but didn't even try to take a bite because, "I think it’s way too decomposed."
We hope Wally is at peace, wherever she is, and would like to remember her with this beautiful clip she graced us with last year: