SEATTLE — Whale researchers said a dead gray whale whose carcass was found floating in Seattle’s Elliott Bay on Sunday had likely died some time ago and showed signs of malnourishment.
KOMO-TV reported the 39-foot whale was discovered near the Coast Guard station at Elliott Bay and was examined by whale researchers and veterinarian organizations.
Crews with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife towed the whale toward Whidbey Island where Cascadia Research Collective scientists performed a necropsy Monday afternoon.
Whale researchers with Cascadia Research Collective said Tuesday that researchers found the whale was in poor body condition with some woody debris in the stomach, but no sign of food.
There were no signs it had been entangled or struck by a ship.
Researches will compare photos of the whale to others taken throughout the past several years to try to determine the whale’s sighting history.
Researchers said it was the seventh stranded gray whale spotted in Washington waters this year, which is near the annual average.
Surveys in one of the main Baja lagoons has found about half of the individual whales to be skinny and malnourished, according to KING 5.
Skinny whales also have been seen in San Francisco Bay.