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Do you recall the dead whale that was stinking up Malibu beach?

December 7:

For that last reason authorities are leaning toward bringing heavy equipment to the beach -- a crane and tractor, possibly -- and scooping it up, Riley said.

But even that will be a pain: Recent high tides are too high, Riley says, and the soonest low tides low enough to give apropos dry land to the operation happen next week . . . in the middle of the night.

Complicated?

Not only that, but the removal would have to coordinated among three agencies -- state wildlife, county beaches and harbors and the fire department/lifeguards.

December 8:

The rotting carcass of a 40-foot fin whale was quietly pulled out to sea Saturday evening by a private tugboat hired by Malibu residents who were tired of its smell, a Los Angeles County fire official said.

After days of official bickering over whose responsibility it was to deal with the landlocked leviathan, a local homeowners association stepped in, according to Fire Inspector Brian Riley.

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