9th dead gray whale found in Bay Area this year is cause for 'serious concern,' scientist says

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ByDion Lim via KGO logo
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Scientist says 9th dead gray whale found in Bay Area is cause for 'serious concern'
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Scientists say nine dead gray whales have washed ashore in the Bay Area so far this year, and it's a cause for serious concern.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Scientists confirm a dead gray whale washed ashore at San Francisco's Ocean Beach, the ninth this year found in the Bay Area.

The dead gray whale became quite a spectacle as concerned citizens flocked to the animal to catch a glimpse and take photos.

Dr. Padraig Duignan, Chief Research Pathologist at the Marine Mammal Center, calls this a "cause for serious concern." There are usually 5-10 dead gray whales found in an entire calendar year.

"We are committed to partnering with organizations and individuals to find long-term environmental solutions to prevent these deaths in the future," Dr. Duignan said.

The Center has conducted necropsies on eight gray whales so far in 2019. Three died due to ship strikes and four were due to malnutrition. Duignan says global warming may be playing a role as changing climate affects migration patterns and food sources.

A necropsy on this whale will be performed Tuesday morning.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA - 2019 GRAY WHALE NECROPSY RESULTS:

March 10, 2019: San Francisco Bay; Cause of death: malnutrition

March 11, 2019: San Francisco Bay; Cause of death: malnutrition

April 02, 2019: Rodeo, CA; Cause of death: malnutrition

April 10, 2019: San Mateo, CA; Cause of death: ship strike

April 13, 2019: Richmond, CA; Cause of death: suspected ship strike

April 13, 2019: Hercules CA; Cause of death: malnutrition

April 16, 2019: Pacifica, CA; Cause of death: ship strike

April 30, 2019: Point Reyes National Seashore; Cause of death: to be determined

May 6, 2019: San Francisco (Ocean Beach); Case of death: to be determined