Update: Receding tide reveals Arroyos whale

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Though the neighbors who discovered that gray whale dying off their beach in The Arroyos (map) this afternoon were sad, some also acknowledged it was exciting in a way, such an unusual sight. And that is why Christopher Boffoli went back tonight to see what the receding tide revealed – low tide is around midnight, though not nearly as low as it will be tomorrow. One of the TV stations that went out to report on the whale after our report this afternoon, KING 5, says experts think starvation is a likely cause of the recent deaths around the region of several grays. As we noted in our earlier report, whale expert Jeff Hogan – from whom we often get first word of local whale sightings – plans to go back at tomorrow’s midday low tide, when the whale can be necropsied. After that, a decision will be made on what to do with its carcass.

ADDED 11:59 PM: Nearby resident Scott has posted video shot by his wife in what apparently were the whale’s final moments, around 4 this afternoon. The video and a few more photos are here. And via Facebook, the whale experts at Orca Network discuss starvation and its role in gray-whale deaths, which they say happen in our region several times a year, so this year may be trending ahead of the average already.

14 Replies to "Update: Receding tide reveals Arroyos whale"

  • PDieter April 14, 2010 (11:17 pm)

    they should blow it up and let the gulls do the clean up…yea that’ll work.

  • MargL April 14, 2010 (11:29 pm)

    lol – I was just waiting for someone to bring up the whale explosion… :-)
    Don’t use dynamite!

  • LP April 15, 2010 (12:10 am)


  • ad April 15, 2010 (12:20 am)

    Is this our whale friend from a couple weekends ago? :(

    • WSB April 15, 2010 (12:40 am)

      Not sure who will be able to say whether it was or wasn’t.

  • k April 15, 2010 (6:26 am)

    they should pull it out to sea for the critters to feed off of. i hope they don’t remove it from the water.

  • Kate K April 15, 2010 (6:50 am)

    Rest in peace, our grey whale friend.

  • CA April 15, 2010 (8:03 am)

    This is so so sad, I hate to hear and see stories about these awesome creatures. WSB keep us updated with necropsy reports.

  • Sam April 15, 2010 (8:48 am)

    People talking about using dynamite to blow up a dead whale shld be ashamed of themselves. Bc of our rampant overfishing, the whale population have been hurting and they have decreased in numbers and they beach themselves. This poor whale was a victim, and died for no reason. I hope this whale rests in peace, he certainly deserves it. Let this situation be a reminder that all of G-d’s creatures are beautiful and deserve health, happiness, freedom and peace.

  • WSB April 15, 2010 (9:12 am)

    Sam, I agree it’s tacky/disrespectful but I believe that’s just a jokey reference to a notorious Northwest incident in the past, which is a major reason I doubt any such thing will ever happen again.

  • karen April 15, 2010 (10:32 am)

    Hey Sam,

    Disrespect aside, you might want to attribute the decline of gray whales to something besides our over fishing, which in and of itself is a huge problem for us as well as other whales, like orcas. As an ecologist, I’d like to point out that gray whales are filter feeders that dine primarily on small crustaceans found in the benthic sediment of the ocean floor, not on fish of a size we as humans would eat. In the north, where these guys are heading to feed, they dine on zoo-plankton like krill. We might compete with them for krill as those markets expand internationally, but currently the melting of the polar ice caps are what appear to be damaging the krill population (krill require extensive ice shelves for habitat during their 2-year juvenile period). The likely cause of the whale’s starvation has more to do with our propensity to drive cars and put CO2 into the atmosphere which leads to increased temperatures at the poles and the decrease in ice sheets. If you want to help the whales (and all other life on the planet) parking your car would be a great place to start.

    TR is right, btw, that the reference to the exploding whale has to do with a badly botched attempt by some state workers in Oregon to break down a stranded whale by using explosives thinking that the smaller pieces would biodegrade more quickly and not require the difficult job of towing an animal of that size out to sea and sinking it. Don’t worry, no one thinks this is a good idea at this point.

  • crow April 15, 2010 (3:23 pm)

    Please respect the homeowners of the Arroyo neighborhood. Ask permission to walk through property or enter from the South end commons area. Please respect the dignity of this lost denizen of the deep.

  • John April 15, 2010 (5:01 pm)


    Global warming in the way you explain it is a lie. I agree less pollution is better for everything on earth but, the sun has more to due with rising global temps than cars. We’ve all been mislead. Thanks


  • glocson April 16, 2010 (2:31 am)

    Leave that poor creature alone!! Jesus!!

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