Gray Whale Washes Ashore On Little Dume Beach

March 18, 2024 ·

Photo Courtesy of Venti Views on Unsplash

MALIBU—On March 17, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that a 25 ft. long, 13,000 lb. gray whale washed up on Little Dume Beach. The first sighting of the whale was while it was still in the surf, and was reported to The California Wildlife Center on Saturday, March 16, at approximately 8:00 a.m.

Authorities have indicated that the whale that washed up on Little Dume Beach was a male gray whale calf. The cause of the death of the whale is unknown.

Canyon News reached out to the Assistant Information Officer for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Amanda McDermot, but did not hear back in time for print.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, a gray whale is identified by “their slate gray coloration with gray and white patches on the skin. They are covered in abrasions, blotches, scars, and clusters of white barnacles and orange whale lice. Adult males average 45-46 ft (13.7-14m) in length with adult females being slightly larger.”

Whale lice are reportedly small crablike creatures that crawl all over the whale’s head. They can be beneficial as they feed off of the algae growing on the whale.

Whales Tail LLC reports that the adult females are slightly larger and reach about 50 feet in length. Both sexes weigh up to 30-40 tons. The gray whale’s flukes or tail can span up to 10 feet.

Oregon State University confirms in its reports that the gray whale has few predators. The only natural predators of gray whales are killer whales and large sharks. Killer whales tend to show up along the Oregon coast during late April and May and may target females and calves migrating north during feeding season.

By Sharon

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