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Malibu's decaying whale towed out to sea

Spectators walk by a whale carcass on a Malibu beach on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012.

December 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The gigantic whale carcass rotting along a Malibu beach was towed out to sea, five days after it washed ashore and created a lasting stench.

Los Angeles County officials said a homeowners' association hired a tugboat on Saturday to tow the dead whale about 20 miles away from shore.

The 40,000-pound whale washed ashore on Monday near Point Dume, the apparent victim of a boat collision. But after no government agency stepped forward to take charge of its removal, a group of neighbors took care of it.

The whale drew a steady stream of visitors, some snapping photos, others bagging souvenirs.

Fin whales are endangered, and about 2,300 live along the West Coast. They're the second-largest species of whale after blue whales and can grow up to 85 feet, weigh up to 80 tons and live to be 90 years old.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.