NEWPORT, Ore. – Oregon researchers have been studying a large humpback whale that died and washed up on the coast near Newport just hours after they believe it was attacked by a group of killer whales.
The 35-foot adult, male humpback had rake marks and teeth marks on it, which appeared to match the telltale signs of killer whale attacks, according to Jim Rice with the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.
Rice said researchers collected samples of the whale, took photos and measured it. Then, it was buried by Oregon State Parks. It had washed up near Lost Creek State Park, about seven miles south of Newport.
Photos: Dead whale on Oregon Coast
Rice said gray whales are the most common species spotted along the Oregon Coast and it’s not unusual for a pod of killer whales to attack a young gray whale.
However, humpback whales are less common in that area and it was unusual for killer whales to attack such a large humpback.