2 dead whales found in SF Bay Area Friday

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Photo by Barbie Halaska/ The Marine Mammal CenterAll photos provided with permission for media use by the Marine Mammal Center. 

Two dead whales were found in the Bay Friday. 

First, a dead fin whale washed into shallow waters at Alameda's Brooklyn Basin on the southern waterfront. The whale's body was found under a bridge in the estuary south of Jack London Square early Friday morning. 

Helen Keohane was rowing with the East Bay Rowing Team when they spotted the whale near the coaches' launch. She said it was dark when they headed out, so they didn't see the whale until they returned around 6:15 a.m.

Keohane has been rowing in the estuary for 10 years and has never seen a whale in the area. She called the Marine Mammal Center to report the discovery. Keohane said construction workers in the area estimated the whale to be about 50 feet long. 

The Marine Mammal Center tells KTVU the whale's carcass will be towed to Angel Island State Park so scientists can perform a necropsy early next week. 

In a second incident, a 35-foot-dead gray whale had washed ashore in Marin County in the Marin Headlands south of Muir Beach.  

The carcass washed up at Tennessee Valley Beach, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. 

Scientists anchored the adult-female whale's body. They are expected to perform a necropsy on Saturday if conditions are favorable. 

“Every whale stranding is an important opportunity to learn from these unique animals and contribute to baseline data,” said Dr. Shawn Johnson, head of Veterinary Sciences at The Marine Mammal Center. “Human impacts can contribute to whale mortality, so understanding the challenges these animals face will help inform policymakers so we can safely share the waters with all species.”

According to the Marine Mammal Center, fin whales are the second largest living animals on earth. They are currently listed as endangered. 

NOAA received reports on Wednesday of a dead whale draped across the bow of a large ship entering the Bay. 

This comes after three gray whales have washed ashore this year at Angel Island State Park.