A dead gray whale washed ashore at Ocean Beach in San Francisco early Monday morning, according to The Marine Mammal Center.
The whale’s cause of death was not immediately known. Officials plan to perform a necropsy on Tuesday.
The whale’s sex, age and length were not immediately known.
The Marine Mammal Center said it has performed eight gray whale necropsies so far this year. Three gray whales died as a result of ship strikes. Malnutrition claimed the lives of four others. The causes of death for the eighth and now ninth dead whale remain under investigation.
“The death of nine gray whales in the San Francisco Bay Area this year is a cause for serious concern and reinforces the need to continue to perform and share the results of these type of investigations with key decision-makers,” Dr. Padraig Duignan, Chief Research Pathologist at The Marine Mammal Center, said in a statement. “We are committed to partnering with organizations and individuals to find long-term environmental solutions to prevent these deaths in the future.”