PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A dead whale that washed ashore on a private Rhode Island beach almost two weeks ago was finally buried.

Ron
Bogle, manager of Briggs Beach in Little Compton, said Friday that
about 20 workers spent more than six hours cutting blubber off the
30-ton humpback’s bones and burying the pieces.

The whale, about 41 feet long, died at sea and washed onto the beach June 14. At first, the humpback was in shallow water and couldn’t be buried until it was on solid ground.

Beach officials attempted to bury the whale during low tide on June 20, but the carcass was almost completely exposed when Bogle got to the beach Monday.

Bogle said he’s relieved the weekslong effort to put the whale in the ground is finished. The blubber was buried in a roughly 6-foot hole, further inland from where the whale washed ashore.

“I’m
glad to get this over with, especially before the weekend,” Bogle said.
“The wind shifted too. If we hadn’t buried it yesterday, the smell
would have blown down the beach.”

On Thursday, workers from Rhode
Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York — mostly volunteers
armed with knives and rubber gloves — retrieved all the bones from the whale’s skeleton, Bogle said.

Tom
French, an assistant director at the Massachusetts Division of
Fisheries and Wildlife, has said the skeleton will go to a museum.

Bogle praised the crew for their work ethic and said he plans to see the whale’s bones in whatever museum displays them.

While
he stood nearby for the entire process, Bogle said he didn’t jump in
and grab a knife. He also said he was impressed workers withstood the
smell without masks.

“We’re busy scrubbing everything down
because everything stinks,” he said. “My wife came home, took two steps
in the house and said, ‘What’s that smell?'”


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