SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Another dead whale has washed onto a Bay Area beach, marking the fifth whale to do so this month.
The dead whale washed onto the beach at Fort Funston in San Francisco on Friday.
Witness Andrew So captured video and photos and shared to Twitter.
A gray whale was the latest to wash up in the Bay Area. It was found at Muir Beach on April 8.
A team with the Marine Mammal Center completed a necropsy and investigated the three other whales that were found dead in eight days.
The center determined the cause of at least one of the dead whales — a ship strike.
“During the necropsy at Muir Beach, scientists discovered significant bruising and hemorrhaging to muscle around the whale’s jaw and neck vertebrae consistent with blunt force trauma due to ship strike. The team identified the gray whale as a 41-foot adult female that was minimally decomposed based on the quality of the internal organs. Experts also noted the whale was in good body condition based on the blubber layer and internal fat levels,” the center said.
The deaths of the others are still under investigation.
However, the center claims malnutrition, entanglement, and ship strikes as the most common causes of death – based on what they have found in recent years.
It has been concerning for experts to find this many dead whales in the Bay Area in such a short time span.
“Our team hasn’t responded to this number of dead gray whales in such a short span since 2019 when we performed a startling 13 necropsies in the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Dr. Pádraig Duignan, Director of Pathology at The Marine Mammal Center.
To report a dead whale or whale in distress, call the Center’s rescue hotline at 415-289-SEAL (7325).