SCIENTISTS are still trying to work out what happened to an 11m, three-year-old humpback whale that washed up dead about 200m north of the Causeway at Main Beach, North Stradbroke Island, on Tuesday.
Quandamooka Joint Management coordinator Darren Burns said the dead whale was the first to wash up on Straddie this season.
Mr Burns said a Sibelco excavator would be used to bury the whale this afternoon in sand above the high tide mark after its carcass was dragged up the beach.
"The whale was covered in sea lice and appears to have been debilitated for some time before it died," Mr Burns said.
"The carcass won't be left in the water to attract sharks but they can often smell the oil after the whale starts decomposing."
Mr Burns said the island’s beaches were inundated with rubbish this month.
“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it,” Mr Burns said.
However, despite the large amount of rubbish washing ashore, the island’s Adder Rock beach provided shelter for three seals for the past three weeks.
University of Queensland's Moreton Bay Research Station scientists at Dunwich took measurements of the whale, thought to be a male.
National Parks regional manager Rob Allan said samples were taken and responsibility for disposal of the carcass handed to Redland City Council.
Mr Allan said his rangers would work with the island's traditional owners, the Quandamooka People, to ensure the whale was buried.