Dead humpback whale washes ashore in Point Reyes; cause of death unknown

POINT REYES, Calif. (KGO) -- The body of a 35-foot long female Humpback whale remains in the surf in a remote section of Ten Mile Beach in Point Reyes.

The whale washed ashore Friday between the southern parking lot and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

When a whale washes ashore, we humans tend to wonder, or even assume, that somehow, we might be to blame. Was the cause environmental? A ship strike? A loose piece of fisherman's netting?

Scientists have no evidence that those might have caused the death.

Sunday, experts from the Marine Mammal Center performed a necropsy. They took samples of the blubber, blood, and looked at what the whale had in its stomach.

Finding a cause of death may take weeks.

While endangered in the 1970's, humpback whales have recovered well. This was the first dead humpback in the region since January. In the interim, we have seen fifteen dead Grey whales, and one Pygmy Sperm. Four of those whales died from ship strikes. The rest of those whale deaths undetermined.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.