SAN FRANCISCO—A gray whale washed up shore on Wednesday, April 3 in Rodeo, along the San Pablo Bay shoreline not far from the Carquinez Bridge. This is the third gray whale to die in the Bay Area this year.
The whale’s carcass was partially submerged in the San Pablo Bay. A spokesperson for The Marine Mammal Center, Giancarlo Rulli, said that on Tuesday, April 2 the Coast Guard spotted the gray whale.
On Wednesday, the Marine Mammal Center was able to respond to the report of the gray whale washing ashore arriving at the location at approximately 2 p.m. where the carcass was in the middle of the boat channel.
“The Marine Mammal Center confirms a gray whale carcass is partially submerged along the San Pablo Bay shoreline near Rodeo. The Center & its partners
@calacademy are planning a response to perform a necropsy, or animal autopsy, in an attempt to determine the cause of death,” the Marine Mammal Center tweeted on April 3.
The whale was tied off to a pylon and towed to Angel Island State Park during the morning on April 4 where a necropsy, an animal autopsy was performed.
Rulli indicated that the whale was over one year old and was a male. No official cause of death has been announced. Rulli added that the necropsy is incredibly important and will help the Marine Mammal Center find long-term solutions.
Two dead gray whales washed up on Angel Island off Tiburon in March. One of them died of malnutrition; the reason for the other whale’s death has not been determined.
“Each of these investigations provide an invaluable opportunity to better understand the threats that marine mammals face,” said Dr. Padraig Duignan, Chief Research Pathologist at The Marine Mammal Center, in a statement. “The gray whale population along the U.S. West Coast is a conservation success story but the species continues to face numerous environmental threats including entanglements, ship strikes and shifting food availability.”