Climate change: Thousands of gray whales dying, no place to rot
The whales that have washed up this year are emaciated, and scientists have also noted that whales migrating north are showing up in places they wouldn’t normally venture, such as the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, or San Francisco Bay. That leads researchers to wonder if the gigantic mammals are veering off course in a desperate bid to find food far south of where they usually fatten up in the late summer months.
The dead whale Rivera and Worwag have on their beach had a stomach full of eel grass, far from its normal diet. A necropsy showed the adult male starved to death.
“This whale was desperation feeding,” said Rivera. “It’s like a starving human eating grass to stay alive. It just can’t.”