A 45-foot-long dead whale on Sunday washed ashore San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, prompting officials to warn the public to keep their distance as the carcass remains on the beach. 

Gray whales are unlikely to be found on beaches at this time of the year. Typically, these large mammals pass through the Bay Area in late March through April, with some deceased ones found on beaches in spring. 

However, the Sunday appearance adds to a series of dead gray whales seen on beaches in the past three months. In April 2021 alone, there have been 14 dead gray whales recorded, according to the Marine Mammal Center, as reported by the San Francisco Gate.  

Researchers for the marine center found malnutrition, entanglement and trauma as the top reasons for the whales’ deaths.