Mar 09,2009 00:00
FLORENCE, Ore. - Devil's Elbow State Park near Florence, Ore., has been closed following the discovery of a dead fin whale that drifted ashore, a state official says.
Chris Havel, an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department spokesman, said the park will remain closed until further notice following the appearance of the fin whale at Devil's Elbow beach on Sunday, The (Portland) Oregonian said.
Havel said the park's closure was to prevent traffic accidents caused by an influx of park visitors intent on seeing the dead marine mammal, thought to be up to 50 feet long.
Closing the park would also allow the animal's carcass to be protected, the parks official said.
The cause of the animal's death has yet to be determined, but the whale was seen bleeding in area waters last Friday.
Havel told the Oregonian officials have yet to decide what to do with the large animal carcass. The state worker said there is not enough available sand at the beach to bury the whale as usually is the case with such discovered wildlife.
The Oregon official said the U.S. Coast Guard may be called to the beach to drag the whale's body away if deemed necessary.
© 2009 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.