Whale washes ashore on Little Dume Beach in Malibu

A 13,000-pound gray whale washed onto the beach in Malibu Saturday afternoon. While residents are used to watching the migration of gray whales, on Saturday they witnessed the tragic side of nature.

This time of the year is the California gray whale's migration season. This young whale washed up onto Little Dume Beach early Sunday afternoon, about a mile north of Paradise Cove. The California Wildlife Center said they received reports of the whale Saturday morning. By midday, the whale was dead.

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Courtesy of the California Wildlife Center

"It's just devastating to see a baby not making it," said local resident Suzy Forman.

Forman has lived on Point Dume for two decades, and has witnessed the migration before.

"The moms and the babies are coming up from Mexico to Alaska, and it's always a thrill to see them every time, even if you've seen them over and over again," said Forman.

The CWC sent its response team out to the beach on Saturday to investigate, but because the whale was still in the water, it wasn't safe to approach. By Sunday, the CWC said, the whale's body was wedged in the sand, allowing researchers to collect samples which they hope will help determine what led to the animal's death.

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The whale was migrating from the Baja Peninsula up to Alaska, the CWC said. This whale was the third gray whale stranded on the beach in Southern California so far this year, according to the organization.

Dylan Strickland grew up near the beach, and called the whale's death "part of the cycle of nature, but it is really sad, and I just hope that the rest of the gray whales had a more successful migration and that this just gets to float off and become a part of the food chain, and doesn't get stuck to the beach."