Rot in peace: Sites lacking for whale corpses amid die-off

June 21, 2019 - 1:03 am

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — So many gray whales are washing up on the U.S. West Coast that the federal agency that deals with the rotting carcasses is running out of places to put them while they decompose.

NOAA Fisheries is asking those with private, isolated beachfront property to "host" a rotting whale because space is running out on public land.

So far, about 160 gray whales have washed up this year from Mexico to Canada.

Eighty-one of those died between California and Alaska.

U.S. scientists last month declared the die-off an "unusual mortality event," a designation that triggers additional resources and launches an investigation into possible causes.

The first couple to volunteer their private beach received the carcass of an adult male gray whale that died of starvation.

Now, 15 more private individuals have stepped forward.

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