A 40-foot whale carcass has washed ashore on one of Southern California's most pristine beaches and has begun to rot while authorities try to decide who should remove it.
The 40,000-pound (18,143kg) male fin whale washed up in Malibu on Monday, not far from homes owned by singers Barbra Streisand and Bob Dylan.
Los Angeles County lifeguards had the idea of trying to pull the carcass out to sea but were unsure if they could manage the job.
County fire inspector Brian Riley said: "Our lifeguards think this probably exceeds our capabilities. You would need a tug boat to drag it out to sea."
In that case, the city was not sure who would do it, said spokeswoman Olivia Damavandi.
The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbours was not responsible for disposing of the whale because "it's on a private beach", said spokeswoman Carol Baker.
The beach is controlled by homeowners down to the high tide line; the state is responsible for the tidelands, she added.
The California Wildlife Centre examined the carcass on Tuesday and found a gash on the young whale's back and a damaged spine, indicating it may have been hit by a ship.
Such accidents have become more common as increasing numbers of migrating blue, fin and humpback whales swim to California's shore to feast on krill.
The endangered fin whale is the second-largest animal in the world and can grow up to 85 feet (26 metres), weigh up to 80 tons and live to be 90 years old.