In the end, Malibu residents took matters into their own hands.
For days, a whale was left decaying -- and smelling -- on a Malibu beach as government officials debated what to do.
On Saturday night, the rotting carcass of a 40-foot fin whale was quietly pulled out to sea by a private tugboat hired by Malibu residents who were tired of its stench.
After days of official bickering over whose responsibility it was to deal with the landlocked leviathan, a local homeowners association stepped in, according to Fire Inspector Brian Riley.
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