HALF MOON BAY (KRON) — A dead whale was discovered on the shore on Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay, just south of Francis State Beach Tuesday afternoon. This is the third whale to wash ashore on the San Mateo County coast since April 14.
The whale is a female adult grey whale, about 40 feet long.
It’s unknown how the whale died.
Because of the advanced decomposition, researchers will be unable to conduct a full necropsy but will examine the bones for signs of trauma, Marine Mammal Center spokeswoman Laura Sherr said.
However, a necropsy can only be done if the whale is still beached on Wednesday. There is a chance it could go back to sea this evening, which would prevent the necropsy.
KRON 4 has learned that an official with the city of Half Moon Bay received a call about the dead animal at 10 a.m. Staff with Marin Headlands-based Marine Mammal Center were contacted.
Over the past few days, there were reports of a dead whale floating in the area. Officials think this is that same whale.
In April, a 48-foot male whale was found at Mori Point at the south end of Sharp Park State Beach in Pacifica. About three weeks later, a second whale, a 42-foot humpback whale, was found near the same spot.
Necropsies performed on both of the whales were inconclusive and the cause of death is still unknown.
Marine Mammal Center says it has responded to 17 beached sperm whales and 21 beached humpbacks in its 40-year history.