Small town has big problem, uninvited guest washes on shore

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TROUT RIVER, Newfoundland (CNN) – Trout River is a tiny town but it has a big problem on its hands.

A rotting blue whale washed ashore and now residents are trying to figure out how to get rid of it.

Lloyd Hann said, “Well, it’s getting worse now. It’s really getting, everyday. If the weather warmed up, it’d be really bad. It’s okay as long as it’s cold like this.”

Heavy ice is believed to have killed a group of whales off the coast.

Gawkers are flocking to the carcass but they are not lingering long, which is a concern for business owners.

Jenny Parsons, the owner of Seaside Restaurant, said, “The smell of it right now, and the gradual rotting of the whale, is going to cause havoc on the community, health wise, as well as for tourism. Right now, we have a stream of traffic coming to see the whale and we would like that to develop further into what can we do with this whale for future tourism?”

David Hayashida helped install a humpback whale skeleton in his town a few miles away.

He said, “It mystifies me, it really does. It’s such a tragedy, and it’s a double tragedy when something like this is just going to be thrown away.”

The federal and provincial governments say it is entirely up to the town to clean up the mess.

Emily Butler, the Trout River town clerk, said, “It could possibly weigh up to 180 tons. The section that’s blowing up is probably about eight feet high. You know, we’ve never had to deal with a situation like this, it’s very unusual and I really don’t believe we have the resources, in terms of removing it.”

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