A blue whale that washed ashore near Thornton State Beach in Daly City had suffered from multiple skull fractures, researchers said Thursday. Whale is considered as the largest animal in the world.
A team of a dozen scientists with the Marine Mammal Center, California Academy of Sciences, Noyo Center, and University of California, Davis, went to Westmoor Beach near Daisaku Ikeda Canyon to conduct a necropsy on the animal.
They found a very big male whale with length 65-foot. It had multiple fractures at the back of its skull that indicate blunt force trauma, according to a statement from the center. Scientists conducted a full necropsy despite the whale’s degraded body but there is no final statement yet regarding the cause of death.
Visible, prolapsed genitalia made it clear the whale was male, said Giancarlo Rulli, a spokesman for the mammal center. It was the seventh blue whale carcass beached in the last 40 years along the Central and Northern California coastline, Rulli said.
The last dead blue whale to wash ashore in the region was in 2010 at the Bean Hollow State Beach in San Mateo County. That female whale, which had been carrying a fetus, died of blunt force trauma after being hit by a ship, the veterinarians said.
Rulli advised beachgoers to stay clear of the carcass. Blue whales can grow larger than the length of an NBA basketball court and weigh more than 15 school buses. Whales often migrate to the Central California coast in autumn for feeding, Rulli said.
Below is a video from CBS, showing the dead whale with skull fractures drifts towards the Daly City Beach. While the preventing the deaths of animals such as blue whales are largely out of the reach of people, animal lovers all over the world are nonetheless deeply saddened by incidents such as these. After all, the whale population is declining, and each death is exceedingly felt.