Dead gray whale calf on Bremerton beach was very emaciated

Jul 27, 2011

BREMERTON, Wash. – A gray whale that washed up on a Bremerton beach was alive when the stranding was reported this morning but it was dead when a National Marine Fisheries employee arrived on the site on Dyes Inlet.

Spokesman Brian Gorman says the whale was very emaciated and may have been injured or loaded with parasites.

Marine biologist Fred Felleman told KIRO TV that the gray whale was a calf. He said calves are generally born in the winter, so the calf may be about 6 months old. The whale was likely born in Baja, he said.

A necropsy is planned to determine the cause of death, but the whale may first be towed to a more-secluded beach where it will be left to naturally decay.

Gorman says the gray whale death is not surprising. He says a half-dozen typically die each year in Puget Sound or on the Washington coast.