Dead gray whale washes ashore on Bainbridge Island

Dead gray whale washes ashore on Bainbridge Island
Photo credit: Philip Hutcherson

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. — A dead gray whale washed ashore Tuesday on Bainbridge Island.

A spokesperson for the National and Atmospheric Administration told KIRO 7 that a research team went out to Bainbridge Island to try to get a skin and blubber sample from the whale.

The NOAA official said the whale was “quite decomposed” and is not a priority for a necropsy.

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According to NOAA, it is the fifth stranded dead gray whale found in Washington in 2020, bringing the total to 26 on the West Coast (including Alaska).

NOAA declared an unusual mortality event for gray whales following a large number of strandings in 2019.

The NOAA official said many of the stranded whales found this year have been thin or emaciated, suggesting something has changed about their food supply.

Their investigation into the cause of the death remains ongoing.