Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 (Nuala Sawyer). A dead whale that showed up in the San Francisco Bay over the weekend will undergo an autopsy, according Marine Mammal Center spokesperson Giancarlo Rulli, who initially announced that the event would be open to the public. But an email sent Tuesday indicated that the mammal center had changed its plans.
“The necropsy will eventually take place (conditions permitting) on a remote beach west of Blunt Pt.,” Rulli told SF Weekly in an email. It’s “unfortunately inaccessible to the public and accessible by boat only.”
The whale was first spotted belly-up in the Bay on Saturday. Based on her throat grooves, she’s believed to be a fin or blue whale, measuring between 40 and 60 feet in length. An initial review showed her body was in good condition, so the reason for her demise is still a mystery.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used two boats to tow the dead whale to the Oakland harbor, where they secured her to a pier near Blunt Point. The corpse will hang out there until the weather clears up enough for scientists from the California Academy of Sciences and the Marine Mammal Center to work. The necropsy will help them not just understand how she died, but will also give them an opportunity to study oceanic conditions and how they’re affecting wildlife.
UPDATE : The necropsy is, (un)fortunately, not open to the public.