Whale haul proves to be most unusual for Maine trucking company

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A trucking company in Maine had one of its most unusual hauls ever this past Sunday.

Smith Trucking and Excavation of Gorham, Maine hauled the 45-ton, 43-foot long carcass of a rare right whale about 20 miles from Portland Harbor to Benson Farm in Gorham where it underwent a necropsy.

A truck normally used to haul lumber was used to transport the carcass which included a drive through downtown Portland, Maine.

“I’ve never hauled a whale before, but I’ve moved some pretty big houses,” Smith Trucking owner Paul Smith told the Portland Press Herald. “When I took this job I didn’t realize how big the whale was going to be. The tail was so long it hung over the end of the trailer.”

To help reduce traffic problems, the whale was hauled early Sunday morning between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. by police escort. One leg of the trip took Smith, 64, through downtown Portland on Congress Street where cab drivers eagerly snapped pictures of the rare load.

NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Region in Gloucester, Maine reported that the female whale most likely died after becoming entangled in fishing ropes, which were found wrapped around its body.

Benson Farm is licensed by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The whale’s remains will be composted and federal officials will take possession of its bones.