A 20-ton humpback whale carcass was towed to an island in a Virginia river Wednesday morning while officials tried to determine who is responsible for it.
The dead whale grounded during the weekend in a marshy area near the point where the Perrin River joins the York, The Virginian-Pilot reported. The carcass floated up from Chesapeake Bay into the York Estuary on the tide.
Because the carcass is not a navigational hazard, the U.S. Coast Guard is not legally responsible for it, officials said.
“Nobody has money budgeted for this,” said David Whitehurst of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. “We don’t have any idea of how much we’re talking about in terms of time or money to make it happen. With the budget situation the way it is, we might be pooling resources.”
Just getting the whale to the island involved two boats from a commercial company, Sea Tow. They pulled a line tied to the whale’s tail.