A 40-foot dead Fin whale, possibly the victim of a boat strike, washed up on Little Dume Monday.
The male, which was a young adult, was found about 11 a.m. Monday, according to Jeff Hall of the California Wildlife Center.
The whale was likely killed in the past few days and is mostly intact, with a large bump on its back.
"It could be gas or it could be swollen from being hit by something," said Cindy Reyes, executive director at the California Wildlife Center. The exact cause of death will not be determined until a necropsy is performed, she said.
Reyes said that a necropsy could take place as early as Tuesday if researches from Santa Barbara Natural History Museum decide to come down. The California Wildlife Center has the ability to perform the necropsy, but larger organizations often have more resources, she said.
"This is much bigger than just us because so little is known about these animals," Reyes said. "It's nice when a bunch of different agencies work together."
Dave Janiger, a curatorial assistant at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, came down to take samples of parasites from the whale and help take measurements.
"I haven't seen one this fresh in a long time," Janiger said. He said Fin whales are fairly common at this time of year.
"There's a lot of them down in Long Beach right now," Janiger said.
The whale was wedged between rocks on the beach, and will likely be difficult to remove, Reyes said, adding that she will be calling the L.A. County lifeguards to see if they can tow it out to sea.
"I don't know how we're going to get it out," Reyes said.
Gary Wilcox, a longtime Malibu resident who arrived at the beach on his paddle-board, said he has often seen whales while surfing off Point Dume.
"What a shame. It's a beautiful animal. We see them out there all the time. They pass by and they blow," Wilcox said.
Mari Stanley, who lives up the street, said she was glad that researchers will be able to glean information from the whale.
"This is the first one I've seen that's not been out there for a long period of time," Stanley said.
She said if the cause of death is from a boat strike, it would be her "worst fears being confirmed."
"It's like a hit and run. You have to feel that," Stanley said.