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IPFS News Link • Natural Disasters

Why are so many whales dying on California's shores?

• The Guardian

Last week, scores of local residents made their way to Sharp State Park in Pacifica, California, a 20-minute drive south of San Francisco, to view the body of a humpback whale that came ashore on 4 May.

When the 32-foot female humpback whale's body came ashore, after days being tossed by waves, it was only the latest in a string of strandings along northern California's Pacific coast.

Moe Flannery, a stranded marine mammal responder and manager of the Department of Ornithology and Mammalogy at the California Academy of Sciences, is quick to dispel a desire to look for conspiracy theories over the whales' deaths.

"This is not a beaching," she begins, "it is a stranding," explaining that a stranding occurs when the animal washes ashore and does not deliberately go on to the beach. This usually happens after the animal is injured.