A 40-foot Gray whale carcass that washed up Saturday at Sand Lake Recreation Area was buried in the sand yesterday by beach rangers from Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and a local contractor. Kirk Barham, park manager at Cape Lookout State Park, said the carcass’ rotten condition indicated the whale was deceased before it arrived on the beach. Sand Lake Recreation Area, a popular beach spot about 15 miles southwest of Tillamook, is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The area is closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the NOAA West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network were on scene before the burial to take tissue samples from the whale.
Information and photos provided by OPRD