CARLSBAD, Calif. — A dead gray whale washed up on Terramar Beach in Carlsbad Thursday.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials collected samples and confirmed the decomposing carcass is that of a female gray whale, most likely migrating from its breeding grounds in Baja California, Mexico to its feeding grounds in Alaska.
The discovery marks the 58th death of a gray whale on the West Coast this year, according to NOAA.
On Tuesday, a gray whale that washed up near Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica, California was the 10th to die in the Bay Area since March.
Gray whales are the one of the most frequently seen whales in California, according to The Marine Mammal Center. They migrate north in April and May and swim back south in December and January.
The whales can grow up to 45-feet long and weigh as much as 90,000 pounds. They were once in danger of extinction.
The population has grown to about 26,000 and they were taken off of the Endangered Species List in 1994.
This Makes the 58th death of a gray whale identified on the #westcoast since the first of the year. #scientists are working #ASAP to find out why there have been so many deaths @fox5sandiego talks to #NOAA @6pm for what could be killing these whales. #fox5sandiego pic.twitter.com/9hJlJ5cOii
— Jaime Chambers (@jaimechambers) May 16, 2019