The young humpback whale that became beached and died on White Rock's East Beach was temporarily moved offshore Tuesday night.
The Canadian Coast Guard carefully towed the 15-foot mammal out to sea using a hovercraft, though its final resting place hasn't been decided.
"We've got a few areas in mind," said Paul Cottrell, pacific marine mammal co-ordinator for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. "The animal will be moved Thursday or Friday or Saturday, depending on weather."
The whale will be moved to deeper waters where it can naturally decompose into the ecosystem.
It washed up in White Rock just east of the promenade Tuesday morning, tangled in fishing line believed to be from bottom fishing, dragging a net or line along the ocean floor.
Shallow areas like White Rock are more typical environments for whales to become beached.
Researchers are still analyzing samples of the animal and the fishing line it was tangled in to determine the cause of death. Cottrell said some samples will take a week or two to process.
"This animal was in very poor shape," said Cottrell. "Its blubber layer was nonexistent, it was very emaciated, obviously had been in some distress for some time given the body condition."
The whale's skeleton will be displayed for educational purposes, though Cottrell didn't disclose where.
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