Gray Whale Found Washed Up On Bay Area Shore [VIDEO]
Another whale has washed up on a shore within the Bay Area. This is the fifth incident reported since April. This time, the whale was found "badly decomposed" within the Don Edwards San Francisco National Wildlife Refuge.
The juvenile gray whale found measured 25 feet in length and was located 150 to 200 yards south of the Alameda Creek Channel and north of the Dumbarton Bridge, according to Carolyn Jones, a spokesperson from the East Bay Regional Park District, according to a statement.
"We had a lot of whales washing up on shore," Mary Jane Schramm, of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, said in a statement.
Authorities also noted that the carcass was found in an area that is not accessible by the public and that they plan to let it decompose naturally.
While in two previous cases in the past six months the whales found dead were hit by passing ships, this time the cause of death remains unknown, pending a necroscopy perfomed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. However, researchers also note that the impending El Niño is a factor. Warmer waters disrupt whale habitats and lessen food supplies. This has led to an increased number of whale sightings and whales beaching themselves, according to CBS San Francisco.
The whale appears to have been decomposing for quite some time now. While the whale may have died of natural causes, strong incoming currents are regularly bringing bodies closer to shore.
News coverage of the whale that washed up on shore can be found online.
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