Nfld. & Labrador

Mayor warns people away from dead whale as Humber Arm South grapples with removal

Glenn Savard has a whale of a problem: how to remove a smelly sperm whale carcass from his community's shoreline.

Removal is the town's responsibility

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

Glenn Savard has a whale of a problem: how to remove a smelly carcass from his community's shoreline.

"I'm not happy about it," the Frenchman's Cove mayor told the Corner Brook Morning Show, but the dead sperm whale is the town's responsibility. "We don't know where it came from. But we'll deal with it."

The whale washed up sometime this week near Frenchman's Cove in an area that falls within Humber Arm South's boundaries. It appears to be missing its jaw and fin and has a cut in its stomach.

Savard said his biggest worry right now is people trying to visit the site, which requires a trip through private property and down over steep cliffs that are especially slippery after fresh snow Friday morning.

His secondary concern is for the fishing and recreational boats in the area if the whale should end up back in the water.

"If we get a breeze of wind and a high tide and this washes off the beach now and starts drifting around the bay … we certainly don't want that for the mariners who are running back and forth."

And his third concern — what do you do with a dead whale?

"We want it gone, but we want it gone in a safe manner and a manner that we're not causing any grief to any other agency out there," he said.

The town is awaiting word from government on what to do with the carcass. Savard said the options include burying it on the beach or towing it to Frenchman's Cove and loading it aboard a truck bound for the landfill.

"Wherever they tells us we gotta take it, we'll do it. We needs it gone from where it's to right now."

In the meantime, Savard is urging people not to go visit the whale.

"Please, stay away from that place because it's a dangerous area."

With files from Corner Brook Morning Show