Dead whale washes ashore at Silver Strand State Beach

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CORONADO, Calif. -- A dead juvenile humpback whale washed ashore Tuesday on Silver Strand State Beach in Coronado.

The 23-foot-long carcass was discovered on the sand above the tide line, between the park entrance and parking lot 1.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Marine Fisheries are performing a necropsy to determine how and why the whale died.

"There were no obvious new injuries," said Kerri Danil, a NOAA biologist. "It does have previous signs of being entangled, so there were healed scars on its flukes."

So far, Danil's team knows that the whale was a one-year-old male that weighed more than 2,000 pounds, and that it was already weaned from its mother.

"We'll start peeling back the blubber of the animal to see if there is any kind of injury and take a look at the organs, see what's been feeding," Danil said.

They will then test the tissue for bio-toxins and contaminants.

"Strandings offer a unique opportunity to better understand the bigger picture of trends and patterns in ocean wildlife," Danil said.

The whale was first spotted Friday by divers 9 miles off the coast, Danil said.

The staff has blocked off the area for public safety. The carcass will be removed Wednesday by California State Park rangers.

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