SEATTLE (AP) – A gray whale carcass washed ashore on Bainbridge Island west of Seattle.

The Seattle Times reports the whale that washed up Tuesday appeared to be an adult and had been dead for a while, according to Michael Milstein, spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries West Coast region.

It was not immediately clear how the whale died.

A team from the nonprofit Cascadia Research Collective took photos and samples of its skin and blubber Tuesday.

Researchers are trying to understand why so many gray whales have been found dead and stranded on beaches since the spring of 2019.

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