© ABC: Stan Shaw
The carcass of a one-year-old humpback whale is removed from Middleton Beach.
Authorities have warned beachgoers in Albany, on Western Australia's south coast, to exercise caution after sharks were attracted to the area by a whale carcass.
Middleton Beach was closed after the five-metre carcass, suspected to be a one-year-old humpback whale, was discovered this morning.
Heavy machinery was brought in to remove the dead whale from the popular swimming area.
Authorities believe it came ashore overnight whilst still alive, but died a few hours later.
Deon Utber from the Department of Parks and Wildlife said tissue samples from the whale would be taken for analysis.
"It was probably a calf returning from last season, it was obviously very malnourished," he said.
"A pod of humpback whales was seen out here this morning so this whale was probably from that pod.
"When this species becomes sick, they do come into the shore to die.
"The animal is taken off the beach, we take some samples and some measurements and it's then disposed of."