A dead gray whale washed ashore at Ocean Beach in San Francisco early Monday morning, marking the ninth such discovery in the Bay Area this year, according to The Marine Mammal Center.
The whale's cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma, likely from a ship strike, The Marine Mammal Center said after officials performed a necropsy on Tuesday.
"The death of nine gray whales in the San Francisco Bay Area this year is a cause for serious concern and reinforces the need to continue to perform and share the results of these type of investigations with key decision-makers," Dr. Padraig Duignan, Chief Research Pathologist at The Marine Mammal Center, said in a statement. "We are committed to partnering with organizations and individuals to find long-term environmental solutions to prevent these deaths in the future."
The whale's sex, age and length were not immediately known.
The Marine Mammal Center said it has performed eight other gray whale necropsies so far this year. Three gray whales died as a result of ship strikes. Malnutrition claimed the lives of four others. The cause of death for the eighth whale that was found on April 30 remains under investigation.