Ocean Beach Whale Likely an Endangered Species
Jan Roletto, the research coordinator at the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, said the poor creature is either a fin whale or a sei whale. She's leaning toward the former, but, either way, a rare specimen will be buried on Ocean Beach.
Roletto was quickly able to rule that the Ocean Beach whale wasn't the same minke whale speared last week by a cargo ship. Aside from the fact the beached whale was no minke, the creature hit by the ship had no head or tail -- and the one on the beach did. QED.
The Ocean Beach whale did have a gash on it, "probably from a ship." A necropsy could determine if the whale was killed by a possible collision or if it was already dead by the time a boat ran into it. But there will be no such operation on the rapidly decaying, 47-foot carcass. Federal officials with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area are leaning toward burying it a little ways up the beach.
The whale's species will eventually be determined when the Marine Mammal Center processes skin and blubber samples.