A 70-foot female blue whale that officials believe was struck by a ship has washed ashore on the Northern California coast in what scientists are calling a rare occurrence.
The whale was spotted Monday on shore near Fort Bragg in Mendocino County, hours after an ocean survey vessel reported hitting a whale a few miles away, said Joe Cordaro of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's marine fisheries service.
It's unusual for blue whales to wash ashore, Cordaro said. Last week, another one washed up in Monterey County after being hit by a ship. Before that, the last time a blue whale washed onto a California beach was 2007.