Biologists will perform a necropsy on a dead whale that washed up near Fremont to determine what caused its death, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The 25-foot long carcass was discovered washed up on a rocky beach in the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday, according to East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman Carolyn Jones.
A park ranger spotted the whale carcass about 150 to 200 yards south of the Alameda Creek Channel, Jones said.
Because the carcass was located in an area that was not easily accessible, Marine Mammal Center employees were initially waiting for tide conditions in the area to improve before accessing the carcass, Marine Mammal Center spokeswoman Laura Sherr said.
However, once biologists with the Marine Mammal Center and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were able to access the whale, biologists determined they could perform the necropsy Thursday, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Doug Cordell said.
Biologists will take samples from the whale's location and then conduct tests with the samples back at the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands, Cordell said.
He said the Fish and Wildlife Service had been notified as early as Saturday of a dead whale spotted near the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, but didn't hear any reports of it again until Wednesday.
"It's highly unusual to find a whale that far south," Jones said.
Although the whale has not yet been identified, the 25-foot long body most likely belongs to some type of juvenile baleen whale, Jones said.