'That Was a Mistake': Police Discuss Failed Attempt to Put Whale in Dumpster - NBC10 Boston
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

'That Was a Mistake': Police Discuss Failed Attempt to Put Whale in Dumpster

"We said, 'baby whale,' so everyone thought it was a small whale," said the police chief of Rye, New Hampshire

Find NBC Boston in your area

Channel 10 on most providers

Channel 15, 60 and 8 Over the Air

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Officials Struggle to Dispose of Whale Carcass

    When workers misjudged the size of a dead whale they were trying to put in a dumpster, the 4,000 pound carcass fell to the ground.

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018)

    A dead baby minke whale, too big for a transport container, flopped onto the concrete in a parking lot in Rye, New Hampshire, and the 4,000-pound mistake was all caught on camera.

    "Oh, that's just terrible," gasped Sarah Rogers, a Stratham resident, as she watched the video.

    The whale washed ashore on Jenness Beach Monday morning. Experts say it likely died after getting tangled in fishing lines and crews added insult to injury when they tried to move it.

    "That was a mistake that shouldn't have happened and I take full responsibility for that," Rye Police Chief Kevin Walsh said.

    Dead Whale Doesn't Fit in Dumpster

    [NECN] Dead Whale Doesn't Fit in Dumpster

    Efforts to move a deceased whale from a New Hampshire beach did not go quite as planned on Monday when crews tried using a dumpster to haul it away.

    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018)

    Walsh says it was a coordinated effort to remove the dead animal from the public beach. The town called on the state to bring in the dumpster to help transport the whale for a necropsy.

    "Our goal was removing the biohazard right away," Walsh said.

    He says the problem was simple miscommunication.

    "We said, 'baby whale,' so everyone thought it was a small whale," Walsh explained. "We should have measured the length of the animal so it was clear what size container we would need."

    When asked why they still attempted to put the large animal in the too-small container, Walsh said they had a strategy. The operator of the front-end loader was trying to drop it into the dumpster diagonally to let the tail stick out.

    "And then we had a way we were going to cover it up," Walsh said.

    White Official Tells Black Woman He Belonged to Master Race

    [NATL] White Official Tells Black Woman He Belonged to Master Race

    Some Leavenworth County, Kansas, officials are calling for Commissioner Louis Klemp's resignation after he insulted a black woman who had just presented a land-use study to the commission. "I don't want you to think I am picking on you because we are part of the master race. You have a gap in your teeth. We are part of the master race, don't you forget that," Klemp said. 

    (Published Friday, Nov. 16, 2018)

    That didn't work.

    So the 16-foot whale spent Monday night in the beach parking lot until a larger container was brought in on Tuesday to haul it away.

    "It's heartbreaking, honestly," Rogers said.

    "It's too bad they didn't manage it a little bit better," said Rye resident Jen Carney.

    Chief Walsh says it was a lesson learned the hard way. On behalf of all the agencies involved, he promised to do a better job next time.

    A necropsy on the whale was scheduled for Wednesday.

    Biologists are hoping to learn more about the minke whale and what may be causing others to wash ashore from Florida to Maine.


    Get the latest from NBC Boston anywhere, anytime:

    App

    Download our FREE app for iPhone, iPad and Android. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for our e-mail newsletters.