Back on Monday, we mentioned that a juvenile gray whale was found dead in Elliott Bay. We found out last night that local observers were part of what happened next. The photos and update were subsequently shared by David Hutchinson of Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network:
It was reported to Sno-King Marine Mammal Response, our partner network to the north. WDFW Enforcement towed the whale up to a site on Whidbey Island, where a necropsy was performed that afternoon. While the whale was not found in Seal Sitters’ West Seattle territory, we were present to observe the procedure.
The necropsy team included participants from Cascadia Research, WDFW Marine Mammal Investigations, SR3 and World Vets. Measurements were taken and samples of the blubber, baleen (photo below), and various organs were collected for later analysis.
No food remains or plastics were found in the whale’s stomach.
Please see Seal Sitters’ Blubberblog for additional details and a link to the preliminary report by Cascadia Research.
Archives note: It’s been exactly nine years since a young gray whale stranded and died in West Seattle.