Officials tried to put a dead whale in a dumpster in Rye, New Hampshire, and it didn't fit. Footage of the incident was posted by a reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader Monday afternoon.
Chief Kevin Walsh of the Rye Police Department told BuzzFeed News on Thursday that authorities were notified about the dead, 2-ton minke whale early Monday morning. It was found on Jenness State Beach.
In an interview with NECN, Walsh called the incident a "mistake."
"That was a mistake that shouldn't have happened and I take full responsibility for that," Walsh said.
Walsh told BuzzFeed News that removing the whale was a collaborative effort. The state provided a dumpster for the animal, and the town provided the staff and equipment to transport the whale.
"We said 'baby whale,' so everyone thought it was a small whale," Walsh told NECN.
"We should have measured the length of the animal so it was clear what size container we would need," he said.
They tried to fit the whale into the too-small dumpster diagonally, the chief told the outlet. "And then we had a way we were going to cover it up."
However, as the footage indicated, that plan did not work out.
The whale was ultimately transported with a better-fitting container on Tuesday, Walsh told BuzzFeed News. The whale is undergoing a necropsy to determine the cause of death.
"The video — it wasn't successful in showing how well state, town, and private agencies work together, but we do work really well together," Walsh said Thursday. "That's our third whale in the last five years."
Walsh said that they're going to "do better."
"We're going to do better, and we'll review it and make that sure that I communicate better, to ensure that we get the right equipment to do the right job."