Beached whale defaced in Pacifica

PACIFICA (KRON) — The corpse of a beached whale discovered last week has been defaced.  Scientists performed a necropsy Wednesday, and the enormous dead mammal has been lying on the beach ever since.  The graffiti on the dead whale reads, “EAST BAY RATS MOTORCYCLE CLUB.”

Biologists were unable to determine the cause of death for the sperm whale found washed up on a Pacifica beach April 14, Marine Mammal Center officials said.

The 48-foot male whale was discovered at Mori Point at the south end of Sharp Park State Beach in Pacifica, and was already dead by the time biologists from the center and the California Academy of Sciences arrived, Marine Mammal Center spokeswoman Laura Sherr said today.

Despite speculation that the animal might have been killed by a ship strike, biologists found no broken bones. There was some hemorrhaging in the muscles, but not enough to clearly indicate blunt force trauma.

Although the whale was emaciated, it had squid beaks in its stomach, which indicates that it had been eating.

Biologists could not determine the whale’s exact age, although it is thought to be an adult.

Researchers collected the teeth and tissue samples for further testing and research. The tissue samples were not fresh enough to determine the cause of death, officials said.

Such findings are fairly rare. Only 17 stranded sperm whales have been found in the 40-year history of the Marine Mammal Center, Sherr said.

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