CBS: “Mysterious whale deaths” in California under investigation — Scientists perplexed, this is “very concerning” — “Continues trend of whales washing ashore” — Animals sick, starving, emaciated, too weak to swim, hemorrhaging (VIDEO)

Published: April 29th, 2015 at 8:36 pm ET
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CBS San Francisco, Apr 24, 2015 (emphasis added): Mysterious Whale Deaths: 4 Carcasses Wash Ashore NorCal Beaches This Month — Lab officials are investigating the deaths of two gray whale carcasses that washed up this week in Santa Cruz County… 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… Just days ago, a killer whale beached itself north of Fort Bragg… According to the Marine Mammal Center, whale strandings are fairly rare.

San Jose Mercury News, Apr 21, 2015: Bay Area scientists remain perplexed as to what killed an adult sperm whale… “This is a very intriguing investigation… they don’t naturally beach themselves,” said Dr. Caitlin Brown, a veterinarian with The Marine Mammal Center. “And the fact that he’s a top predator and so emaciated is very concerning.”… [It's] about 11 feet short of the average… and multiple tons short of the average 90,000 pounds… Lauren Rust, a research biologist [said] “A sperm whale stranding is a rare event” … “It’s nothing that I’ve ever seen,” [a resident] said… “It’s just heartbreaking… It really makes you wonder.”

KPIX transcript, Apr 15, 2015: “A team of scientists [say] the whale was likely sick, possibly even starving… Lauren Rust, biologist: ‘He looks very thin, his bones are protruding. It appears that he hasn’t been eating, there’s not a lot of stomach content.’ The scientists say they wont know for a while exactly why the whale died, or if it’s related to the deaths of other marine mammals, like seals, which have been washing ashore in record numbers.”

San Francisco Chronicle, Apr 15, 2015: Sue Pemberton, a curatorial assistant from the [California Academy of Sciences], said the whale appeared to be underweight for its size, which could indicate a disease or other problem. “It should have a nice, sleek torpedo shape, but you can see the outline of his skull and shoulder,” she said.

Mirror, Apr 17, 2015: [The 50 ft. whale was] bleeding from its head… It is the seventeenth sperm whale to wash up on the North California coast in the last 40 years

San Francisco Chronicle, Apr 19, 2015: Whale’s cause of death remains a mystery… “There were no broken bones, and while some hemorrhaging was visible in the muscles, it was not enough to indicate blunt-force trauma such as a ship strike,” the scientists said.

ABC 7, Apr 15, 2015: Pacifica resident D’Andrea Robinson [said] “I’ve never seen anything like it before“… Many Pacifica residents don’t remember the last time they saw a dead whale… They’ve seen other types of animals wash ashore in recent months. “Sea lions wash up… a lot of babies recently, but I’ve never seen a whale that size on the beach here,” said Greg Concepcion, a Pacifica resident. Residents now want to know what caused the whale to die.

Santa Cruz Sentinel, Apr 23, 2015: Two gray whale carcasses washed up in Santa Cruz County this week, prompting Long Marine Lab officials to investigate… A necropsy conducted Thursday on a 40-foot adult gray whale… couldn’t determine the cause of death… there was no evidence of… ship strike or entanglement… A second gray whale… had killer whale teeth marks…

AP, Apr 16, 2015: [A] rare pygmy sperm whale died after beaching itself in Point Reyes [30 miles from San Francisco]. Investigators said it had likely gotten sick and was too weak to swim.

KESQ, Apr 22, 2015: Killer whale dies… Cause of animal’s death may remain a mystery — Wildlife officials say a killer whale has beached itself and died north of Fort Bragg… north of San Francisco… the cause of the animal’s death may remain a mystery.

See also: 13 baby gray whales dead on west coast–”Rash of dead humpback whales in Oregon”–Gov’t probes mysterious deaths–”Fear for whales encountering radiation hot spots”

Watch Video: CBS broadcast | NBC broadcast

Published: April 29th, 2015 at 8:36 pm ET
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