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Whale that died off Camano Island ate golf ball

The Columbian
Published: April 23, 2012, 5:00pm

CAMANO ISLAND, Wash. (AP) — A gray whale found dead Sunday off Camano Island had been feeding recently on shrimp.

NOAA Fisheries says an examination of its stomach Monday also found large amount of woody debris and some pieces of rope, plastic and a golf ball.

Spokesman Brian Gorman says the garbage was minimal and not the cause of death which remains under investigation. There were no signs of trauma or entanglement.

The carcass was towed to the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, about 50 miles north of Seattle for the necropsy by biologists and volunteers from Cascadia Research, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

Gorman says the skeleton of the 37-foot sub adult male will be cleaned and sent to the Smithsonian Institution.