Men Mutilate Beached Whale —for a Tasty Snack

It was dead, and they were hungry; it's still illegal
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Suggested by hogstr
Posted Sep 2, 2010 5:20 PM CDT
A man watches a beached whale at the Capao da Canoa beach in the Brazilian southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010.   (AP Photo/Ronaldo Bernardi, Agencia RBS)
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(Newser) – Two Florida men are in trouble after they spotted a dead whale on the beach and approached it with one thought in mind: Hey, free lunch. "The thing was deader than a doornail," said one of the men picked up for questioning by state conservation officers. He told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that he cut off the tail so he could bring it home for a meal. "I'd probably broil or fry it."

One problem: It's illegal to possess or mutilate a federally protected species, even if it's dead. It's unknown why the creature, probably a pygmy sperm whale, beached itself, but another did the same a bit further up the coast around the same time. That one had to be euthanized, and biologists from the National Oceanic Administration will investigate. No word yet on whether the two men will face any penalties.

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