…By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
A 28-foot grey whale was discovered dead on a beach in California covered in bite marks, with the cause of death remaining a mystery.
The carcass was examined by Dawn Goley, director of Cal Poly’s Marine Mammal Stranding Program, and her students, who found no signs of fatal injuries despite the bites.
While they did determine that the whale was a juvenile and emaciated, which is not unusual at this time of year, they were unable to find a definitive cause of death.
Goley is convinced the whale’s death is linked to a video that emerged a few days before it washed up on the beach.
The video showed orcas attacking three grey whales, and Goley believes the two incidents are linked.
However, she expressed surprise that there were no obvious signs of an orca attack on the grey whale.
Orcas are the only predator of grey whales and typically attack by separating a juvenile from the adults.
Orcas may have caused the death of the whale due to stress and emaciation, according to Josh McInnes, an orca researcher from the University of British Columbia’s Marine Mammal Research Unit.
He believes that the stress of being attacked, compounded by the fact that the whale was already emaciated, may have led to its death.
The death of the grey whale is a reminder of the complex and delicate balance of ecosystems and the impact that human activities can have on them.
While orcas and other predators play an essential role in maintaining the health of marine ecosystems, human activities such as pollution, overfishing, and climate change can upset this balance and have negative consequences for marine life.
It is important to take steps to protect marine ecosystems and the animals that inhabit them to ensure their long-term survival.