Dead gray whale washes up on Oregon coast, buried

April 21, 2020 GMT

TILLAMOOK, Ore. (AP) — State park rangers and a contractor have buried a gray whale carcass that washed up on the beach at Sand Lake Recreation Area south of Tillamook.

The 40-foot (12-meter) dead whale washed up Saturday, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Oregon state park officials determined it had died before washing ashore based on its deterioration.

Members of the NOAA West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network took tissue samples from the whale before it was buried.

Last spring, some researches grew concerned following a large number of gray whale deaths along the Pacific coast, many of which appeared to be malnourished. Research studying the health and number of gray whales this spring has been temporarily shut down during the pandemic.