Dead whale will stay put on South Whidbey beach

A gray whale that appears to have died of starvation will remain on the remote South End beach where it was found, the Orca Network said.

The dead 42-foot adult female whale was discovered earlier this month by hikers along Mutiny Bay, said Orca Network spokesman Howard Garrett. He declined to disclose a more detailed location to discourage souvenir hunters.

Garrett said the whale was well below the usual weight of a mammal that size. He said the whale wasn’t one of the area’s regular spring resident grays.

“She probably didn’t get enough to eat, and didn’t have the strength to make it back up to the Bering Sea,” Garrett said.

He said the whale probably ended up in Puget Sound because it was hugging the Pacific coastline and wandered into the Strait of Juan de Fuca looking for food.

He said results of a necropsy are still pending, but poison probably can be ruled out.

“There was nothing unusual in its stomach,” Garrett said. “It was just empty.”

Garrett said that because of its remote location, the whale carcass will remain where it is, to decompose and be eaten by scavengers.

“It would take some pretty big equipment to move it,” he said.



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