- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

PT. REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE, Calif. (AP) - Experts say the carcass of a rarely seen Baird’s beaked whale was found on a beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore this week.

The Marin Independent Journal reports (https://bayareane.ws/2bHy8Nd) scientists plan to perform an evaluation on the 35-foot-cetacean’s carcass to determine whether the animal was hit by a ship.

Scientists that examined the animal on Monday found extensive hemorrhaging near the vertebrae on the left side of the decomposing carcass. They also noted the animal’s fluke had been severed by a sharp object like a propeller, evidence of a vessel strike. But a final determination of the cause of death is pending.

The Marine Mammal Center says this is the first dead Baird’s beaked whale it has seen in its 41-year history.

National Marine Fisheries Service historical records for the West Coast region show less than a dozen of the species have ever washed up in California, Oregon and Washington.

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