Dead Whale Washes Up On San Diego Beach
A 52-foot dead whale washed up on a San Diego beach on Sunday, and experts aren’t sure what exactly happened to the marine mammal.
The fin whale, which has been identified as a juvenile female, washed up south of the Crystal Beach pier in Mission Beach in the early hours of Sunday morning, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Lifeguards were notified about the dead whale in San Diego around 7 a.m., and people started calling the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s stranding hot line.
Experts aren’t quite sure how the whale died, but noted that it appeared to have died recently. Observers did not notice anything that would suggest the whale had been killed by a ship strike. Researchers took tissue samples from the whale to ascertain its cause of death.
Local officials from NOAA ensured that bystanders were staying a safe distance away from the whale. Later on during the day, NOAA worked to tow the whale carcass out to sea to sink the body.
Around 4 p.m., authorities used a bulldozer, jet ski, and boat to roll and move the dead whale in San Diego toward the water. A crowd of people gathered to watch as lifeguards pulled the whale past the surf line and deposited into the ocean about a mile and a half offshore.
It is uncommon to see fin whales strand on the West Coast, since the species tents to stay in deeper water compared to gray whales. Fin whales are the second-largest whales in the world, and can reach up to 80 feet long and weight about 50 tons.
Fin whales, like the dead whale in San Diego, are endangered. Experts believe there are about 8,000 of the species living in waters off the West Coast. If you’d like to see some of the beautiful and majestic whales who are still living along the coast, check out the best places to go whale watching in San Diego.
Media credit: Image of a fin whale licensed from Adobe