— Monterey Bay: Another dead whale found at Santa Cruz, California

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel and Monterey Herald,
May 4, 2015

NOTE: The Herald article is not on the home page and is difficult to find unless you have the link. It has been changed a lot from the print edition and it is missing these paragraphs about cause of death and investigation –

Milbury said it’s not clear what caused the whale’s death.

There is nothing external on the whale, like entanglement or ship strike marks, that indicate the cause of death,” Milbury said.

Karen Grimmer, NOAA’s resource protection coordinator in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, said two NOAA officials took tissue samples from the whale to help determine its cause of death.

The Sentinel is missing this paragraph published in the Herald.

Karen Grimmer, NOAA’s resource protection coordinator in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, said two NOAA officials took tissue samples from the whale to help determine its cause of death.

The article notes that a dead grey whale calf was found in April. Killer whales are in the bay. However, if they killed this calf, why wasn’t it eaten?

More photos online
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By Stephen Baxter

A kayaker investigates the carcass of a humpback whale caught in the kelp off of West Cliff in Santa Cruz Tuesday morning. (Shmuel Thaler — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

SANTA CRUZ >> A dead 40-foot humpback whale caught the attention of residents and authorities off West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz late Monday and early Tuesday.

Leaders from Long Marine Lab launched a kayak on Tuesday to get a closer look at the whale, which was about a quarter mile off Woodrow Avenue and Columbia Street in a kelp bed.

Jim Milbury, a spokesman for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said Tuesday afternoon that a decision had not yet been made whether to move the animal further offshore or to another location. Dead whales often attract sharks, and some residents expressed concern that sharks could endanger surfers at nearby Steamer Lane.

Don Kinnamon, senior deputy harbormaster of the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor, said authorities typically don’t intervene with dead whales off beaches.

Any time there’s a dead marine mammal, they let it take it’s natural course. The regular chain of predators will feed off it,” Kinnamon said Tuesday. “We’re not doing anything with it at this stage.”

Milbury said it’s not clear what caused the whale’s death.

There is nothing external on the whale, like entanglement or ship strike marks, that indicate the cause of death,” Milbury said.

Karen Grimmer, NOAA’s resource protection coordinator in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, said two NOAA officials took tissue samples from the whale to help determine its cause of death.

The Coast Guard first received reports of the whale on Monday. It appeared to be drifting slowly toward Its Beach and Lighthouse Point.

The dead cetacean is at least the second whale to wash up on Santa Cruz County shores this year.

A dead gray whale calf beached itself at Hidden Beach in April. Its carcass then drifted to the Cement Ship off Seacliff State Beach, said photographer and boat captain Giancarlo Thomae.

White sharks are feeding on it,” Thomae said April 24. “Although it’s extremely rare for sharks to attack live whales, it’s very common for them to feed on the carcass.”

A dead 30-foot gray whale also washed up at Lower Trestles, a surfing beach south of San Clemente, last week. It was chopped up and taken to a landfill, according to the Los Angeles Times. Thousands of gray whales are migrating north this time of year, authorities said.

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/environment-and-nature/20160503/dead-whale-examined-by-authorities-in-santa-cruz

http://www.montereyherald.com/general-news/20160504/dead-40-foot-humpback-whale-examined-by-authorities-in-santa-cruz/1 downloaded at 2:55 pm PT

Also, http://www.kionrightnow.com/news/local-news/dead-whale-of-west-cliff-may-be-the-result-of-more-orcas-in-the-monterey-bay/39366164

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