SEAVIEW, Pacific County — A deceased adult gray whale washed ashore along the coast of southwest Washington near Seaview over the weekend.
Jessie Huggins, Cascadia Research collective stranding coordinator, performed a necropsy Monday on the 39-foot whale with staff from Portland State University and the Seaside Aquarium, The Daily News reported.
Huggins hopes organ samples taken from the moderately decomposed carcass will provide clues into the cause of death.
“It does show signs of malnutrition based on some dry blubber that’s been discolored orange that we saw in some whales last year,” Huggins said.
The whale’s death was likely part of an ongoing trend that started last year but seems to be trailing off, Huggins said.
“We’re still in an unusual mortality event that started last year for gray whales, but we’ve had much lower numbers so far this year than we did last year,” she said.
“Last year, we had 34 whales total in our primary stranding season between April and June. This is the fifth whale so far this year, so we’re much slower than we were last year. We’re a little bit higher than our normal range for this time of the year but much closer to what we normally see.”