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Third Dead Whale In A Month Washes Ashore Near San Francisco

The gray whale was the third to be found on beaches in the region in the last month. Scientists will examine its bones for clues as to how it died.

Posted on May 19, 2015, at 5:59 p.m. ET

A dead 40-foot gray whale washed ashore in Northern California on Tuesday, the third to be found in the region in the last month.

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Visitors to the beach in Half Moon Bay first spotted the whale, and a team from the California Academy of Sciences was en route to assess what to do next.

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The carcass was "very decomposed," said Laura Sherr of the Marine Mammal Center.

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Its bones will be examined for signs of trauma, which could suggest if the whale was hit by a boat. A full necropsy to determine a cause of death is not expected to be possible, Sherr said.

A humpback whale was found washed up on a beach near San Francisco earlier this month and apparently died after being struck by a ship, a necropsy determined. A sperm whale was found nearby in mid-April, but the deaths were not connected.

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