Scientists are looking into the cause of death of two whales found Friday — one a fin whale at Oakland's waterfront and the other a gray whale at Tennessee Valley Beach in Marin.
The whale found in Oakland was partially submerged in an estuary near Jack London Square. The carcasses are the fourth and fifth, respectively, to be found in the Bay this year by the Marine Mammal Center, which rescues animals across 600 miles of state coastline.
Dave Zahniser, rescue and response manager at the center, says whales may be found close to shore because of migratory patterns or food sources.
"We'll see animals in areas where we haven't seen them in decades simply because that's where food moved at this particular time," Zahniser says. "If that happens with areas of high human activity, we're going to have more interactions."
Whales commonly die from malnutrition, collisions with ships and entanglement in rope or fishing nets, according to researchers. Three gray whales have recently been struck by ships, says Zahniser.