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Friday, 5 July, 2002, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Rotting whale removed from beach
The rotting carcass of the sperm whale
The carcass will be removed to a landfill site
The rotting carcass of a 30-tonne sperm whale has been removed from a beach near Edinburgh.

The immediate area had to be closed off to the public because of health risks posed by the decaying corpse.

However, after removal of the 33ft long whale from the banks of the Firth of Forth, West Lothian Council said it was planning a clean-up operation.

The whale was washed up near Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, on Tuesday.

beached whale lifted by crane
The whale weighed 30 tonnes

Council contractors used a crane to hoist the whale off the foreshore.

They had to make sure the cables did not snap under the weight of the massive beast.

But eventually they managed to lift the whale clear of the beach.

It is estimated the operation cost the local authority about 20,000.

High pressure washer

Council officials said the whale would be removed to a landfill site where it will be deodorised to reduce the smell.

They said the beach site will be cleaned up using a high pressure washer.

Chemicals will not be used in the clean-up operation in order to avoid polluting the area further.

The local authority insisted that it had chosen the best option for disposal.

It said that it was preferable to cutting up the body on site or using explosives to blow up the carcass.

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 ON THIS STORY
Morag Kinniburgh
"A sad end to a short life."
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03 Jul 02 | Scotland
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