Two gray whales found dead in Western Washington

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SEATTLE (AP) - Researchers say two gray whales were found washed ashore in western Washington over weekend, bringing the number of gray whales found dead along the Washington state shore this year to more than two dozen.

KING-TV reports John Calambokidis with Cascadia Research Collective said a team went to Westport to examine a whale that came ashore there Sunday.

Calambokidis said a second gray whale was found near Port Ludlow.

U.S. scientists said Friday they will investigate why an unusual number of gray whales are washing up dead on West Coast beaches.

At least 70 gray whales have been found dead so far this year on the coasts of Washington, California, Oregon, and Alaska, the most since 2000.

So far, at least five gray whales have died so far this year in Alaskan waters.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared the situation an 'unusual mortality event', which is defined as a stranding that is unexpected and involves a significant die-off of any marine mammal population and demands immediate response.

About five more have been discovered on British Columbia beaches.

That's a small fraction of the total number of whales believed to have died.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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