A research team performing a necropsy on the animal found evidence of extensive bleeding and a severed fluke (one of the two lobes that comprise its tail). The latter, they said, raised the possibility of a boat impact.
RELATED: New Beaked Whale Species Found
Beaked whales are a toothed family containing 22 species, with only a few, including the Baird's considered well studied. Baird's are among the largest of beaked whales and live in the Northern Pacific, the Sea of Japan and the southerly portion of the Sea of Okhotsk.
The Marine Mammal Center, among the groups researching the death, told CBS this was the first Baird's it had responded to in more than 40 years, and NBC Bay Area noted that fewer than one dozen have ever been stranded off California, Oregon or Washington.
"The opportunity to perform a necropsy on such a unique animal that we rarely have the opportunity to examine will help contribute to our baseline data on the species," The Marine Mammal Center's Chief Biologist Padraig Duignan told CBS.
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