Authorities are preparing for the challenging removal of a huge dead sperm whale that washed up onto a beach in Western Australia about 600 kilometres southeast of Perth.
The mammal, now estimated to be 18 metres long and weighing around 55 to 60 tonnes, was first spotted on a reef near Hopetoun in the Shire of Ravensthorpe last week.
On the weekend the huge carcass was propelled onto the beach, likely during a high tide.
"He's quite a big fella," Shire of Ravensthorpe chief executive Ian Fitzgerald told Yahoo7.
The deceased mammal has been wrapped in tarpaulins and cargo nets and is ready to be shifted.
"Because of the size of the whale we are having to build a toboggan type thing," Mr Fitzgerald said.
"Hopefully it'll slide along the sand with a bit of help from a couple of dozers."
The Ravensthorpe local said while the animal is wrapped at the moment, it is important its carcass is relocated as the area can be quite busy over summer.
"We don't want to attract sharks and in January we have swimming lessons conducted on the beach," he said.
Lisa Wilson from the Hopetoun Progress Association said it has been the talk of the town.
"It was a surprise. Everyone went to look at it," Ms Wilson said.
She also said she had heard there were a few sharks circling the carcass while it was marooned on the reef.
Authorities are optimistic it can be shifted to a place where the animal can then be relocated.
It is hoped they will be in a position to move the whale on Friday.
"We suggest people refrain from using the area," Mr Fitzgerald said.
Mr Fitzgerald said it was a bit of a shock to have the carcass on the beach.
"Apparently there have been a couple in the past, but it's definitely not a regular occurrence, " he said.