Young gray whale found dead in Bremerton, likely of starvation

BREMERTON, Wash. -- The gray whale seen swimming along the Tacoma waterfront last week has died, likely of starvation, according to a marine mammal specialist.

The whale was found dead next to an aircraft carrier at Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton on Sunday morning. It is believed to be the same one spotted in Thea Foss Waterway just days ago.

Biologists believe the whale made its way up through Sinclair Inlet from Tacoma and ended up near the carrier. The whale was found dead near the naval pier, but was towed out to the middle of Sinclair Inlet.

The state marine mammal specialist with the Department of Fish and Wildlife reportedly said the young whale looked emaciated and appears to have died from starvation. The whale also had old scars, likely from an attack by an orca.

Now biologists are working to figure out why the whale starved.

Randy Jones, a charter boat skipper, said he has not seen a lot of krill, which the grays eat.

"That's sad. That's really too bad," he said. "I like to see the whales when they come in here. It's good for business, my charter boat business."

After a full examination is conducted, the whale will be towed out to deeper depths and sunk.

These waters have seen a young whale die before. A juvenile gray whale beached itself in nearby Dyes Inlet, and died one and a half years ago.