When they found the Minke whale washed up under Central Pier, he’d already been tagged in blue paint.
“Unfortunately somebody decided to graffiti the animal and the walls of the underside of the pier at the same time,” explained Bob Shoelkopf of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.
“For what reason we have no idea, but the animal was dead,” he said.
On top of that, a common dolphin was found dead just seven blocks from the whale.
“We normally don’t see that. It was just coincidence that happened,” said Schoelkopf. “The seas are very rough and you know that whale’s been out there dead for days. The dolphin, like I said, could’ve died on the beach last night some time.
Given the amount of time that’s passed since the whale’s death, officials are unable to determine exactly what killed the animal, but they did bury it on the Atlantic City beach.
“It started decomposing and swelling and it partially blew up when we opened it up because of how much gas was inside of it,” said Schoelkopf.
“I guess the people know what they’re doing with the fish, I just hoped that they would take him away from our beach that our kids play on, said Mary Mitchell, whose store is on the boardwalk right above where the whale was buried.
Mitchell is concerned the smell of decomposing animal will drive away customers.
“It’s gonna be horrible, cause in the Summer, you can ask all these merchants, the smell, just when the clams rush up in September and July it stinks. That’s gone be horrible.”
Meanwhile Stranding Center officials say if you find any animal washed up on the beach, keep your distance – the creature could carry harmful bacteria.
“Don’t touch ’em. Call us right away or call your local police department and they’ll contact us,” said Schoelkopf.