Nfld. & Labrador

Dead sperm whale washes up near Frenchman's Cove

The washed-up carcass of a dead sperm whale has landed on a beach near the town of Humber Arm South on Newfoundland's west coast.

Town of Humber Arm South now responsible for disposal

The town of Humber Arm South will be tasked with removing this whale from the community. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

The carcass of a sperm whale has washed up on a beach near the town of Humber Arm South on Newfoundland's west coast. 

On Thursday, the whale could be seen near Frenchman's Cove.

The carcass is swollen and guts could be seen spewing out of the water.

Because the mammal washed up within Humber Arm South's town limits, the community is responsible for disposing of the whale.

Officers from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Ottawa said while they don't know how the whale died, deaths are a "natural occurrence within the marine ecosystem."

The DFO took pictures and samples of the whale, and is advising the public to avoid making physical contact with the carcass because of the possibility of disease transmission or injury.

Humber Arm South Mayor Glenn Savard also has concerns about safety, especially if the carcass drifts back into the ocean and affects April's lobster fishing season.

It's still unclear how and when the town will be able to remove the whale.

With files from Colleen Connors