39-foot gray whale washes up on Wash. beach

Credit: Diane and Gary Johnson

39-foot gray whale washes up on Wash. beach

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by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 6, 2013 at 9:34 AM

SEATTLE -- State and marine officials said Monday a large gray whale, likely killed by a cargo ship, washed ashore near Grayland Beach State Park July 29th.  

One week later, the carcass remains on the shore while the husband and wife who own the Westport Aquarium salvage the bones for a planned exhibit.

"I'm not competitive or anything," said aquarium co-owner Mark Myrsell, "But other aquariums have whales.  I want a whale."
 
Mark and his wife Kathryn have state permission to take the bones before burying the remainder of the body.  They said the last gray whale to wash up here was in 2005.
 
Monday, the Myrsells' were continuing the gruesome task of cutting whale blubber and flesh from the bones.  The tedious and smelly job is expected to last until the end of the week.
 
However, the unusual sight is not unusual for the pair, who divide their time between the aquarium, day jobs and research on Sasquatch.
 
"We do a lot of stupid stuff," Mark Myrsell admitted, "We get interviewed a lot."
 
The Myrsell's bought the Westport Aquarium four years ago, and have slowly been trying to restore it.  They said this whale skeleton is an important feature.
 
"It's tremendous," Myrsell said, "But buying Washington's oldest aquarium is pretty outrageous."
 

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