A cargo crane was used to remove the body of a 16-meter (52-foot) sperm whale that washed up on a beach in Montevideo, Uruguay, over the weekend.

The 20-ton carcass was hauled away to a landfill, officials said.

Montevideo city employees, navy personnel and Environmental Management Administration employees worked to remove the dead whale from the beach.

The whale carcass was wrapped in a cargo net and lifted by the crane into a truck, navy spokesman Gaston Jaunsolo said.

The marine mammal was spotted last Friday and washed up a day later on Carrasco, a beach in the Uruguayan capital.

The sperm whale had no "signs of blows or propeller wounds," leading specialists to conlude that the animal "was suffering from some kind of illness" that caused it to become disoriented and swim into shallow waters, Jaunsolo said.

Montevideo city employees will clean the beach of any remains. EFE