SAN FRANCICSO, Calif. (KRON) — The cause of death has been determined for the fifth whale that recently washed onto shore in San Francisco.
Scientists say the endangered fin whale died from blunt force trauma from a ship strike.
“These collisions are the leading cause of death for these whales and our investigation alongside scientists from California Academy of Sciences and UC Santa Cruz will provide further insight into the challenges these whales face,” a statement from The Marine Mammal Center read.
The dead whale washed onto the beach at Fort Funston in San Francisco on April 23.
This was the fifth dead whale to wash onto a Bay Area beach in April.
The Marine Mammal Center determined what killed at least one of the other four gray whales found dead in the Bay Area in early April, of which three of them were found dead in eight days.
The cause of death — also a ship strike.
The deaths of the other three 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).