9th dead gray whale found in Bay Area this year is cause for 'serious concern,' scientist says

SAN FRANCISCO -- Scientists confirm a dead gray whale washed ashore at San Francisco's Ocean Beach, the ninth this year found in the Bay Area.

The dead gray whale became quite a spectacle as concerned citizens flocked to the animal to catch a glimpse and take photos.

Dr. Padraig Duignan, Chief Research Pathologist at the Marine Mammal Center, calls this a "cause for serious concern." There are usually 5-10 dead gray whales found in an entire calendar year.

"We are committed to partnering with organizations and individuals to find long-term environmental solutions to prevent these deaths in the future," Dr. Duignan said.

The Center has conducted necropsies on eight gray whales so far in 2019. Three died due to ship strikes and four were due to malnutrition. Duignan says global warming may be playing a role as changing climate affects migration patterns and food sources.

A necropsy on this whale will be performed Tuesday morning.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA - 2019 GRAY WHALE NECROPSY RESULTS:

March 10, 2019: San Francisco Bay; Cause of death: malnutrition
March 11, 2019: San Francisco Bay; Cause of death: malnutrition
April 02, 2019: Rodeo, CA; Cause of death: malnutrition
April 10, 2019: San Mateo, CA; Cause of death: ship strike
April 13, 2019: Richmond, CA; Cause of death: suspected ship strike

April 13, 2019: Hercules CA; Cause of death: malnutrition
April 16, 2019: Pacifica, CA; Cause of death: ship strike
April 30, 2019: Point Reyes National Seashore; Cause of death: to be determined
May 6, 2019: San Francisco (Ocean Beach); Case of death: to be determined
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