People move in for a closer look at a dead gray whale that washed up on Ocean Beach on Monday, May 6, 2019. (All photos by Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Dead gray whale found at Ocean Beach

Death is ninth recorded in the Bay Area this year

A dead gray whale washed ashore at Ocean Beach in San Francisco early Monday, the ninth such whale death recorded so far this year in the Bay Area, according to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.

The center’s experts are planning a necropsy, or animal autopsy, on Tuesday to determine the cause of death. The length, age and sex of the whale are not yet known.

“The death of nine gray whales in the San Francisco Bay Area this year is a cause for serious concern and reinforces the need to continue to perform and share the results of these type of investigations with key decision-makers,” said Dr. Padraig Duignan, Chief Research Pathologist at the Marine Mammal Center.

“We are committed to partnering with organizations and individuals to find long-term environmental solutions to prevent these deaths in the future.”

Biologists have observed gray whales in poor physical condition during their annual migration this year, possibly due to shifting food sources.

Increased numbers of gray whales have been sighted in the San Francisco Bay as the population continues its northerly migration this spring.

The Center has completed necropsies on eight gray whales this year.

Three of the whales died due to ship strikes and four died of malnutrition, according to the center. The cause of death for the eighth whale has not yet been determined.

Blunt-force trauma from ship strikes, malnutrition and entanglements are the most common causes of death in whales, according to the Marine Mammal Center’s research team.

Whales and other marine mammals face numerous human-caused threats and solutions must be found to protect healthy and vulnerable species alike, according to officials with the Marine Mammal Center.

 

Just Posted

SF officials demand faster action on street safety amid rise in traffic deaths

‘What the heck are we waiting for?’ says Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee

Report finds disparities in PG&E shutting off power to SF customers

Bayview-Hunters Point has highest rate of PG&E disconnections for nonpayment

City to double rate of bike rack installation

Bike racks are about to spring up across The City like wildflowers.… Continue reading

School district leaders want to keep cops off campus

SFUSD renegotiating agreement with police on handling of incidents involving students

Large fire displaces residents in Castro District

A large fire in San Francisco’s Castro District Saturday morning injured two… Continue reading

Most Read