Gray whale washed ashore Oregon coast died ‘shortly after birth,’ researchers reveal

2nd whale carcass washes ashore on Oregon coast, 100 yards north of first.
2nd whale carcass washes ashore on Oregon coast, 100 yards north of first.(Seaside Aquarium)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 7:23 PM PST
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FORT STEVENS STATE PARK Ore. (KPTV) – A gray whale that washed up dead on an Oregon beach Wednesday died shortly after birth, according to the results of an official necropsy released Friday evening.

“The examination determined that the female whale was not stillborn and had apparently begun nursing but died soon after birth. The umbilical cord was gone, but its wound had not yet healed,” said a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

The whale was found Wednesday, just days after a sperm whale was found roughly 100 yards south. Another gray whale was found in Winchester Bay in Douglas County, just last week as well, officials reported.

SEE ALSO: Sperm whale carcass washes ashore at Fort Stevens State Park

“The team found no signs of trauma or other obvious cause of death, but took numerous tissue, blood, and fluid samples that will be analyzed for clues about why the young whale did not survive,” the spokesperson for NOAA said.

At the moment, gray whales are at the peak of their migration south to Mexico. Experts say they hope calves can continue with their moms, grow up and migrate back north again.