Biologists determined a female juvenile humpback whale that washed ashore in Pacifica Tuesday was likely hit by a ship. Laura Sherr with the Marine Mammal Center says the beached whale, the fifth dead whale to wash ashore a Northern California beach in three weeks, had 4 broken bones with hemorrhaging and a broken rib. The 32-foot-long whale was first spotted by the U.S. Coast Guard late Monday at the southern end of the beach, according to the Marine Mammal Center.

The whale was found not far from where a dead 48-foot male sperm whale washed ashore on April 14, on Mori Point at the southern end of the beach. Marine Mammal Center officials said they believed it was a coincidence that two whale strandings occurred on the same beach within the same month. Several days later, a killer whale also beached itself north of Fort Bragg. Researchers flocked to the Mendocino coast to investigate the rare occurrence. However, they aren’t expected to come to any conclusions as to why the 25-foot creature came ashore to die. MORE