Dead whale found in Oakland estuary towed to Angel Island for necropsy

Laura Anthony Image
ByLaura Anthony KGO logo
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Dead whale found in Oakland estuary towed to Angel Island for necropsy
The Marine Mammal Center says it's at least the fourth dead whale found in the bay this year.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A dead whale is on its way to Angel Island Friday afternoon -- towed across the Bay from the Oakland estuary, where it was discovered wedged under a bridge along the Embarcadero.

According to the Marine Mammal Center, it's at least the fourth dead whale found in the bay so far this year.

VIDEO: Dead whale found lodged under bridge in Oakland estuary

A dead whale found beneath a bridge in the Oakland estuary was towed by wildlife officials to Angel Island, where scientists will perform a necropsy.

"This is the first time I've ever seen something that," said Sylvester Silva as he and his dad cast their fishing lines not for from the animal. "My Dad and I came out here to do some morning fishing. We get here, see this dead whale right here. It's kind of sad when you really think about it, but it's interesting at the same time."

The whale, all 30 plus feet of it, was stuck underneath a bridge near the Jack London Aquatic Center. It's a body of water that flows into Lake Merritt.

VIDEO: Humphrey the whale leaps into hearts of Bay Area residents in 1985

All this talk about a whale in the SF Bay conjures up memories of what may be the Bay Area's most famous marine visitor -- Humphrey the whale.

While construction workers took pictures from above, others came to the shoreline to see for themselves.

"We drove farther down but we couldn't see it," said Alameda's Amy Rose. "So we hopped on our sailboat and came over and finally saw it."

The whale had visible bruising and an open wound on its side. It's not clear if it's the same animal spotted on the bow of a ship entering San Francisco Bay earlier this week.

VIDEO: A look back at the exploding whale of Florence, Oregon

You may have heard about the exploding dead whale of Florence, Oregon. You might even have seen some pictures, but not these.

By mid-afternoon, a commercial diving operation arrived, contracted with the Marine Mammal Center, to begin the process of removing the animal from the estuary.

A lone diver went in and tied ropes around the mammoth creature before it was towed away by the barge.

"It's kind of amazing that an animal gets that big," said Tim Pofahl, a tourist from Minnesota. "I've never seen a whale this close. Got to take the opportunity when you can."

RELATED: Dead whale washes up on Angel Island in San Francisco

"It's super sad and also kind of smelly," said Sarah Pofahl.

According to the Marine Mammal Center, the plan is to tow it to Angel Island where a necropsy will be performed in the coming days to determine exact species, age and the cause of death.

Click here for a look at more stories and videos about whales.