Two more dead gray whales have been found in Southwest Alaska, bringing the total dead whale count to 12 this season.

According to Julie Speegle with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, a juvenile gray whale was found floating in Bristol Bay 10 miles south of Egegik on Friday, June 21. On Sunday, June 23, another gray whale was found stranded on Sitkinak Island east of Kodiak.

 

NOAA is not responding to either location. Speegle says there's no way to reach the floating whale safely and the other is in a very remote location, already in an advanced state of decomposition.

In May, NOAA officially declared gray whale strandings as an unusual mortality event along the West Coast, from Mexico up through Alaska. 

Scientists are still investigating the spike in gray whale deaths, but they have observed that many of the whales found in Alaska were malnourished and could have died from starvation.

NOAA says about 27,000 gray whales will migrate to Alaska this season and that many more gray whale deaths are likely.

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