Rare fin whale found dead on Northern Calif. beach

(AP)

A rare fin whale calf has died on a Northern California beach despite the help of marine mammal experts who rushed to its aid.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the 42-foot calf died Monday on Stinson Beach in Marin County after being discovered a day earlier.

Shawn Johnson of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito said it is still unclear why the endangered whale washed ashore.

The creature had bloody scratches on its underside and was having trouble breathing when first discovered.

Once large whales beach, the animals have trouble breathing due to compression of their organs.

Johnson told the Chronicle that the cause of its stranding could be fishing gear entanglement, a boat strike or separation from its mother.

A necropsy is being conducted to learn more.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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