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Blue whale carcass raises a stink in Newfoundland

The carcass of a 60-ton blue whale has washed ashore on Canada's east coast and is now rotting, stinking up Newfoundland and leading to speculation that it could burst and create more trouble.

Provincial officials today said that they have asked the federal agencies to help small towns on Newfoundland's west coast deal with the carcass.

The town's clerk, Emily Butler, said the carcass is 26-meter long and is lying next to a community boardwalk and is stinking so much that it is proving troublesome for the 600 people of town. Butler said that the decomposition is bringing on methane gas and it could cause the animal to burst.

"I'm not sure with the heat and gases that are trapped inside of this mammal if at some point in time it will explode," Butler said.

Jack Lawson, a research scientist with Canada's Fisheries Department, said the risk of the whale blowing up is "very small."

Lawson added that gases will escape once the skin of whale will start breaking down. Local officials are worried that the stinking carcass could create health issues and it could affect the looming tourism season.

Butler has sought help from the province's Environment and Government Services departments as well as the federal Fisheries Department for help to remove the carcass. "Nobody has been properly trained in the removal of whale carcasses of this size," she said.