World

Stranded gray whale dies in California

A 45-foot gray whale that's been stranded in Northern California's Klamath River for more than a month has died after beaching on a sandbar.
Seth Altamus stands on his paddle board as a gray whale swims close by in the Klamath River in Klamath, Calif. The whale and her calf entered the river in late June during their northward journey from breeding grounds in Baja California to Alaska. (Ashala Tylor/Associated Press)

A 45-foot gray whale that's been stranded in Northern California's Klamath River for more than a month has died after beaching on a sandbar.

Gray whale facts

  • Measure 45-46 feet.
  • Weigh 30-40 tonnes.
  • Feed on small crustaceans.
  • Make one of longest migrations, at 16,000 to 20,000 kilometres roundtrip.

Source: American Cetacean Society

Sarah Wilkin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association said the female whale died around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning. Wilkin was part of the team studying the whale and urging it back to the Pacific.

Wilkin said a cause of death will be determined in a necropsy after researchers move the marine mammal.

The mother gray whale and her 15-foot calf entered the river in late June during their northward journey from breeding grounds in Baja California up to Alaska.

Rescuers spotted what they believed to be the calf swimming back to sea on July 23 after weaning from the mother.

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