Elizabeth Humphrey (left) and Cathy O’Donnell examine a beached whale Monday in Everett. (Julia-Grace Sanders / The Herald)

Elizabeth Humphrey (left) and Cathy O’Donnell examine a beached whale Monday in Everett. (Julia-Grace Sanders / The Herald)

A dead gray whale has washed up on an Everett beach

What caused the whale’s death was not immediately known. Officials plan to tow it to Camano Island.

EVERETT — A dead gray whale washed ashore near Harborview Park on Sunday.

The Everett Police Department and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife were planning to have the whale carcass towed on Tuesday to Camano Island, where it will be left to decompose, said Michael Milstein, a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Authorities have not been able to access the carcass due to its location on the mud flats. They hoped to examine it later this week and determine its age, gender and cause of death, Milstein said.

This is the 13th gray whale to wash ashore in Washington this year, Milstein said. Last year at this time there had been three or four.

The whale was still beached on the tide flats Monday, allowing humans to get a better look at low tide. The only way to access the beach near the whale without trespassing on railroad property is via Howarth Park.

Nearby resident Brian Ritchhart measured the big mammal at 43½ feet. His wife first spotted the whale from their living room window Sunday at around 12:30 p.m. and called 911.

Word got around after the Everett Police Department tweeted a photo showing the carcass near the water on the muddy, sandy tideland.

Port Gardner and Possession Sound commonly are hosts to gray whales and orcas, and occasionally humpbacks.

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