May 2015 – CALIFORNIA – Yet another carcass of a gray whale has washed up on a beach in the Bay area over the weekend, making it the 7th dead whale to have been found in the last 5 weeks. The cause of death of this 28-foot whale found in Sonoma County’s Portuguese Beach has not been determined yet and according to park officials the whale has been dead for quite a while as the remains had already been decomposing when it had been discovered. A California State Parks Ranger, Damien Jones has said that the whale carcass doesn’t show any injuries of being hit by a ship. A tissue sample has been sent to the Marine Mammal Centre for investigating the reason behind the animal’s death. Jones has said they are planning on leaving the carcass waiting for the tide to take it back into the ocean. “Generally we leave dead and sick animals where they are and let nature take its course,” said Jones.
Last couple of months there had been other such case of dead whales washing up. On April 18th a dead killer whale had been discovered near Fort Bragg in Mendocino County. On April 24th two dead whales also washed up on a beach in Santa Cruz County, one being a full-grown 40-foot gray whale, while the other a 23-foot yearling displaying injuries from a killer whale attack. The locals in Pacifica have come across the remains of two whales at two different times. On April 14th they found a 48 foot sperm whale and on May 4th, a 42-foot female humpback had been found in the area.
Earlier this week, a 40 feet dead gray whale had been found on the shore of Kelly Beach in Half Moon Bay. May is often marked as the end of the northern migration of gray whales and this is when marine animals travel at an estimated 5,000 miles from their mating and birthing lagoons in Mexico and back to their usual Alaskan feeding grounds. A lot of them travel with their newborns although other younger whales prefer to stay in a more confined area for the whole year. –Benchmark Reporter