A dead whale that is now moored on a private beach in Richmond is being examined today by Marine Mammal Center researchers after being discovered floating in the Bay on Tuesday, a center spokesman said.
The researchers went to the beach near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge this morning to perform a necropsy on the whale to determine its cause of death, center spokesman Jim Oswald said.
The whale carcass was spotted between Fort Mason and Alcatraz at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Coast Guard sent out an 87-foot boat to tow the whale away so it did not pose a navigational hazard.
Coast Guard and Marine Mammal Center officials managed to tie the whale down at the beach so that it stayed in place overnight, Oswald said.
“The big fear was that the whale was going to wash away,” he said.
Researchers planned to perform the necropsy today and take samples from the animal for future study.
“We’ll be seeing if there’s evidence of malnutrition or marine debris ingestion, which seems to be more and more of a common issue with whales,” Oswald said.
After examining the whale, authorities will decide how to dispose of the carcass, he said.