FLORENCE, Ore. - How do you get a whale carcass off from a frequently visited beach?
Monday morning, Oregon State Park officials were trying to find the answer to that question.
Visitors along the Central Oregon coast didn't expect to see snow, or a dead whale on the beach, but that's just what they got.
"I'm from Texas and we've never seen anything this big along the Texas coast- obviously," said Charlie LeCompt, a Houston resident.
The fin whale is endangered and the second largest species of whale. The mammal measures in at 40-feet-long and weighs several tons, leaving a heavy task for clean up crews.
"We were looking at initially, if maybe the waves would take it out, you know naturally," said Clay Courtright, Oregon State Parks Ranger.
But because the tide wasn't strong enough, Plan A quickly sank.
Back in 1970, another whale was found dead on a beach near Florence, and crews thought the best way to get rid of it was to blow the whale up. After blubber flew all over the beach, and even damaged cars, state officials learned and quickly changed their removal strategy.
So, on to Plan B.
"I'm going to bring a dozer up, and probably try to roll it. Probably try to get the dozer hooked on behind it, pushing on it," said Gary Rose, Owner of Leisure Excavating.
Rose was contacted, with the goal of burying the giant whale.
"I seen it on your news program and I kind of figured they'd be calling sometime today, and they did," said Rose.
Starting off with a test hole, workers scooped up the sand to make sure their machinery could break deep enough through the rocky beach.
While onlookers watched in awe, a final measurement confirmed the whale of a job was possible.
"What a massive animal! I still have a lot of questions I'm trying to get answers for," said Rose.
Excavators were forced to cut up the whale to fit into the hole.
Meanwhile, biologists said Monday they were still trying to determine what caused the whale's death. They said there were no signs of a ship-strike or entanglement, but the whale appeared to be malnourished.