HALF MOON BAY (CBS SF) — A dead gray whale that washed onto the shore in Half Moon Bay was spotted Tuesday.  It was the sixth dead whale to wash onto Northern California beaches in the last five weeks.

Half Moon Bay State Beach Park officials confirmed that the whale washed ashore near Kelly Beach between St. Francis and Poplar.

The gray whale is believed to be nearly 30-feet long.

This was the sixth dead whale to show up on Northern California beaches in the last five weeks.  Officials in Pacifica decided to bury the decomposing bodies of two whales that beached there due to complaints over the smell.

On May 4th a whale was found in Pacifica not far from where a dead 48-foot male sperm whale washed ashore on April 14, on Mori Point at the southern end of the beach.  Marine Mammal Center officials said they believed it was a coincidence that two whale strandings occurred on the same beach within the same month.

On April 21st, a killer whale also beached itself north of Fort Bragg. Researchers flocked to the Mendocino coast to investigate the rare occurrence. However, they weren’t expected to come to any conclusions as to why the 25-foot creature came ashore to die.

Then on April 24,  two gray whale carcasses washed up on a a Santa Cruz County beach.

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.

A pygmy sperm whale died in January after beaching itself along Point Reyes National Seashore.

The center has responded to 21 humpback whales over the past 40 years, including the famous Humphrey, who became lost in the San Francisco Bay in 1985 and 1990.

There was no word on the cause of the latest whale’s death in Half Moon Bay.


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