Second whale found dead in Turnagain Arm within two weeks

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - UPDATE 5/15: Experts with NOAA Fisheries and the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network are monitoring the position of the dead whale, hoping to find an opportunity to perform a necropsy.

A gray whale has been found dead in Turnagain Arm, KTUU

The latest reported location of the carcass is a couple hundred yards offshore from the Placer and Twentymile rivers.

NOAA Fisheries is monitoring the spike in gray whale deaths along the West Coast this spring. As of May 13, 52 gray whales have been reported dead. Of those necropsied, several have been emaciated or malnourished.

In the past twenty years, three reported gray whales have been stranded in Turnagain Arm, in 2010, 2005, and 2003.

NOAA cautions the public against approaching the dead whale by land or water, due to dangerous quicksand-like mud in that area.

ORIGINAL: A second whale has been found dead in Turnagain Arm in just two weeks.

Verena Gill, the Cook Inlet Beluga Recovery Coordinator with NOAA confirmed that a gray whale was found dead floating in the middle of Turnagain Arm, and is believed to have been initially stranded on a mud bar.

Gill says it's too soon to tell the age and gender of the whale, or the cause of death. She added it's currently too dangerous to access the carcass to retrieve any scientific data.

A juvenile humpback whale was found dead in Turnagain Arm just two weeks ago, after being stranded twice.

[WATCH: Stranded humpback whale swims to deeper water after stranding]

According to OregonLive, over the last five months, at least 37 dead whales have been discovered along the west coast this year. Nine had been found in the San Francisco Bay area as of last week.

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