We don’t normally like to be the bearers of bad news, but to the people who had been bidding on a “Dead 40 foot Sperm Whale” on eBay recently, it seems that you’re going to have to keep looking. The auction site decided to pull the Newfoundland town of Cape St. George’s listing for an actual dead sperm whale that measures 12-meters in length after it was determined that it violated policies about the sale of “items made from marine mammals,” according to Canada.com. Interestingly, you can still purchase a sweet shark tooth necklace on eBay, but not the innards of a giant, rotting, dead whale. Who knew?
Actually, the more important question is “Why?” because I’m sure people want to know Mayor Peter Fenwick’s reasoning for trying to sell an actual dead sperm whale online. Well, it turns out that Canada’s official governmental stance on beached whales is basically something along the lines of, “Hey pal, it’s your city and your beach, so it’s your problem, eh?”
“I received a call from the federal department of the environment saying that you’re not allowed to sell any parts of sperm whales, even if they’re dead,” said Fenwick.
“So I said, ‘Oh that’s very good, I’m glad to hear that, now can you send somebody over here to get rid of it for us?’”
They said they could not.
“They’ve got to sort it out somehow. The uncertainty means it just sort of sits there and rots,” said Fenwick.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a whale that’s been rotting on the beach for a couple of months — actually sometimes you can’t see it for the clouds of flies around it — but you can smell it for about a mile.” (Via Canada.com)
According to the Globe and Mail, Fenwick and the fine people of Cape St. George don’t even give a whale’s kidney about the money. They’d just really like it if someone – maybe one of the people responsible for the 15 bids on that eBay listing – would come and take this sperm whale away already, because it kind of smells. And, while I’m sure they’re not very picky, they’d probably appreciate it if the whole scene didn’t end like this one.