Gray whale washes ashore on Oregon beach amid spike

SEASIDE, Ore. (AP) — Officials with Seaside Aquarium say a female gray whale was found Friday stranded south of Sunset Beach.

Biologists at the aquarium performed a necropsy on the 23-foot (7-meter) whale, but "nothing too telling was found," the aquarium said in a Facebook post.

Officials say they collected heart, lung and stomach content which will also be tested.

On the U.S. West coast, about 70 whales have been found dead this year along California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, the most since 2000.

Officials say that's a fraction of the total number because most sink or wash up in remote areas and are unrecorded.

NOAA Fisheries late last month declared the die-off an "unusual mortality event," and is providing additional resources to respond to the deaths.

Officials say the gray whale population remains strong at about 27,000.