Beached dead whales come a dime a dozen in Australia, but high tide combined with rough seas to vault a baby humpback whale over a chain fence into a swimming pool along the shore near Sydney Wednesday.
The dead 30-ton, 38-foot whale presents an obvious obstacle for swimmers who use the saltwater pool. But the problem goes beyond a giant sea mammal hogging up lanes.
"It's very, very dangerous for everyone in the water... because we don't know how it's died, we don't know what kind of fluids, what kind of disease might be floating around with the animal," warned Shona Lorigan of the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia.
Authorities have also closed an adjacent beach at Newport, north of Sydney, fearing the carcass will draw in sharks.
Removing the dead whale could be tricky. Australian National Parks authorities hope it will float away with the next high tide, before they must resort to using heavy equipment to carve up the whale and cart it away.