SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF)– Lab officials are investigating the deaths of two gray whale carcasses that washed up this week in Santa Cruz County.
Contra Costa Times reports Long Marine Lab officials were brought in to investigate the deaths of the two whales found at separate locations, one at the northern end of the county, the other at the southern end.READ MORE: SF Supes Propose Free Muni Pilot Program To Encourage Ridership During Pandemic
A 40-foot adult gray whale was found near Waddell Beach. There was no evidence of a ship strike in his death and researchers said it had likely been dead for days.
The second 23-foot yearling found at Pajaro Dunes had killer whale teeth marks on its body and was missing its tongue and jaw. Researchers said its death was likely the result of an orca attack.READ MORE: San Jose Names Park In Honor Of City’s Filipino American Community
This latest instance continues the trend of whales washing ashore on Northern California’s beaches. Last week an emaciated 50-foot sperm whale washed up on Pacifica Beach. Scientists performed a necropsy, but weren’t able to confirm speculation that the whale was killed by a ship strike.
Just days ago, a killer whale beached itself north of Fort Bragg. Researchers flocked to the Mendocino coast to investigate the rare occurrence. However, they aren’t expected to come to any conclusions as to why the 25-foot creature came ashore to die.MORE NEWS: COVID: Experts Weigh Vaccine Efficacy After Rare, Possible Side Effect Gets Johnson & Johnson Doses Pulled
According to the Marine Mammal Center, whale strandings are fairly rare.