Dead elephant seal found at Corral Canyon Beach

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A dead elephant seal lays on top of a grey tarp just passed a drainage tunnel next to Corral Canyon Beach on Tuesday, July 9.

[Update: 2:30 p.m.] The dead elephant seal was towed 10-15 miles out to sea from the back of the drainage tunnel at Corral Canyon Beach at approximately 1:45 p.m. on Thursday by Zuma Beach lifeguard Captain Smith and the California Wildlife Center.

The Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors usually buries the carcass. However, it was too big, according to Smith.


Original post: A dead elephant seal was found in a drainage tunnel next to Corral Canyon Beach earlier this week.

The elephant seal has been stranded for at least three days, according to Malibu resident Steve Woods, and rests on top of a grey tarp in the sunlight with what looks like ligature marks across its body.

“It most likely washed up in front of the six houses down there and was dragged here,” Woods said. “There is no tide to push it up this far.”

The elephant seal is decaying about 50 yards away from the beach just past the drainage tunnel lined with natural debris. On the south side of the tunnel, the debris is less consistent than the north side, where the seal could have been dragged.

According to Zuma Beach lifeguard Captain Smith, Corral Canyon Beach is on a stretch of beach lifeguards monitor.

“I’m doing everything in my power to get [the seal] out of there,” Smith said. “Due to the tides and its size, it is very difficult to remove. [The seal] is in a very remote area.”

In December, when a 40,000-pound fin whale washed up on Little Dume beach, multiple agencies did not want to take responsibility to remove the dead mammal.

Brad Davis, the emergency services coordinator for the City of Malibu, said that dead seals are usually removed by the Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors.

“Seals are more of a straightforward thing [than whales],” Davis said. “Between the lifeguards and beaches and harbor, someone usually takes care of it.”

However, according to the Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors, they usually do not manage the drainage tunnels.

Carol Baker, the Beaches and Harbors chief of community and marketing services, said the beaches and harbors area ends where the sand ends.

“Our area usually includes the sand and the mean high tide area,” Baker said.

Malibu residents grew restless in December and paid a private tugboat to haul the decaying whale off Little Dume.

It is still unclear who is in charge of removing the elephant seal from the drainage tunnel.