Outlook not good for whale swimming near Everett marina

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by TRICIA MANNING-SMITH / KING 5 News and KING5.com Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on May 22, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Updated Saturday, May 22 at 5:23 PM

EVERETT, Wash. – The outlook is not good for a gray whale swimming at the mouth of the Snohomish River in Everett on Saturday.

Boater Jake Jacobson said he's been watching the whale for a few days. Local whale researchers confirm several sightings of a gray whale near the Everett Marina.

A whale expert with Cascadia Research tells KING 5 the gray whale is extremely emaciated. Marine experts have no plans to  try to move the whale.  The researcher says in its extremely poor nutritional state, there is very little they can do.

Everett's Marine Patrol watched the whale all morning.

"It just surfaces real slow, rolls back down, goes down very, very slow and several times its just sat on the top of water as it doesn't have any energy and doesn't want to go anywhere," said Jim Pulley with the Everett Police Dept. Marine Patrol.

The Marine Patrol is concerned that some boaters might get too close and harass or stress the whale.

"The problem is that we want to ensure the safety of the whale itself, it appears to be in some sort of distress, its not acting like a healthy whale," said Sgt. Robert Goetz.

Cascadia Research says so far this year, six dead gray whales have washed up on Washington's coast. All the whales appeared to be thin and undernourished, which is a common cause of death during their long migration. Experts say it is not unusual to have five to 10 whales die during the spring migration.

More information

Cascadia Research

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