Researchers have determined a gray whale that washed ashore on Angel Island on Wednesday might have died because it was malnourished, a spokesman with the Marine Mammal Center said today.
Early this morning, researchers collected blubber and waste samples that will be sent out for more testing, according to spokesman Jim Oswald. Preliminary indications suggest malnutrition might have contributed to the whale’s death, he said.
During this time of year, gray whales migrate from Baja California in Mexico, Oswald said. They typically don’t feed during the migration, so it’s common for researchers to see malnourished whales.
“It’s sad to see, but it’s not usual,” Oswald said.
On April 20, a juvenile male gray whale was found dead between Fort Mason and Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay.
The most recent carcass was spotted near the Ferry Building at about 1 p.m. Wednesday and washed ashore on Angel Island at about 5:30 p.m., a Coast Guard spokesman said.