Dead humpback whale washes ashore south of Westport

From Cascadia Research Collective Facebook.

WESTPORT -- Oceanic and marine life scientists are trying to find out what killed a humpback whale that washed ashore over the weekend just south of Westport.

Cascadia Research Collective of Westport said the 25'8" female was just over a year old.

Officials are unsure how the whale died, but it appeared to be natural based on recent tests. The blubber was thin with little oil, officials said, but it appears to have recently fed on small fish.

Numerous samples, such as genetics, contamination and general pathology still need to be tested, officials said.

Humpback whale populations have been increasing recently throughout the range, Cascadia Research Collective officials said. As populations increase, residents should expect more strandings along  the Washington coast.