A decayed 50-foot endangered fin whale washed up off Penzance Road in Rockport, Massachusetts [Caution: graphic pictures at link] almost a week after it floated out of Boston Harbor.
The deceased animal, which originally washed up on Georges Island in Boston Harbor, drifted back out to sea on Monday, October 15 to the relief of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation officials at the time. Because the the animal's carcass had decayed so severely and the fin whale is an endangered species -- which meant removal efforts would have had to be approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- the removal had been expected to cost almost $30,000. Officials were also concerned that, as the animal continued to decay, organs that tend to withstand water and acid -- like the animal's intestines -- could float into the harbor and endanger boaters.
Those costs will likely fall now on the town of Rockport, which must develop its removal plan with NOAA.
Watch video, courtesy of New England Cable News, below: