Observation by Carter Price:
This is the second dead/beached whale in Anchorage within the last month and a half.
This picture was taken near the Turnagain arm which is the North end of the Cook Inlet. It had been washed up by the tide. The cause is still unknown, the skin had seemed to be falling off on one of the sides. Also blood was coming outside of its mouth.
Comments from LEO Editors:
Grey whales migrate from Mexico to the Arctic each spring. According to NOAA, 70 grey whales have been found stranded in the US, with additional 73 in Mexico and 5 in Canada, bringing the total grey whale standings to 148 in 2019. Some whales were found to have died of starvation, but NOAA has assembled a team of scientists to help determine other causes, including exposure to harmful algal blooms or other illness.The strandings in 2019 follow a high number of reported grey and humpack whale strandings reported along the coast of Washington and Oregon during 2018.
Five grey whales have been found stranded along the coast of Alaska. The whale observed in this post was reported dead in Cook Inlet on May 9 and washed up on Turnagain Arm, near Placer River over Memorial Day weekend. On May 14th, another grey whale was found near Cordova. A third whale was found on the coast of Kodiak on May 22nd. Another grey whale was observed alive near Chignik Bay on May 25th, but was reported to have died several days afterward.. On May 29th, a fifth whale was found near Clam Gulch on the Kenai Peninsula.
For more information on grey whales, see the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Grey Whale Species Profile.
NOAA Guidelines for Reporting a Stranded or Floating Whale:
The most important action someone can take is to immediately report a dead, injured, or stranded marine mammal. Make the report by calling in California, Oregon or Washington the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network: 1-866-767-6114, in Alaska the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network: 1-877-925-7773, and in Canada, the British Columbia Marine Mammal Response Network 1-800-465-4336.
You can also contact the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF Channel 16. Do not approach or touch injured or dead marine mammals.
All marine mammals are federally protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Only local and state officials and people authorized by NOAA Fisheries may legally handle live and dead marine mammals.