The yearling humpback became stranded on Anderson Island, Pierce County, on Tuesday, officials said.
ANDERSON ISLAND, Pierce County — A female humpback whale has been found dead on the southernmost island in Puget Sound.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a news release Thursday that the yearling humpback became stranded on Anderson Island, Washington on Tuesday.
Officials say an initial necropsy on the 29.5-foot whale showed the animal was emaciated with no obvious signs of an underlying disease. Officials believe the whale may be the same animal seen a week earlier off Whidbey Island and Edmonds.
The whale will be used for educational purposes. The animal was towed to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife property on McNeil Island where the bones will be collected as the animal decomposes.
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Kristin Wilkinson with NOAA Fisheries says the stranding of humpback whales in Puget Sound is something officials have only begun to see recently, likely the result of increased population numbers.