A gray whale who’d strayed very far from its home in the Pacific Ocean appeared next to a boat off the coast of the French Riviera on April 30.
According to Adrien Gannier, a veterinarian and member of the National Network of Marine Mammal Strandings, it likely wound up trapped in the Mediterranean after journeying past Morocco in March.
Gray whales typically spend winter months near Baja California and summer months in the waters of Alaska, but the species has not been seen in the Mediterranean since 2010 and has never been seen on the French coast, Gannier told French media.
“It is possible that this whale, born in California, got lost in the Beaufort Sea during its first feeding season and that instead of going back down to the Pacific, it traveled across the Atlantic before finding itself trapped in the Mediterranean," Gannier said.
Gannier was quoted as saying he hopes the mammal will continue to swim in the direction of the Spanish coast so it can reenter the Atlantic Ocean at Gibraltar and find its way back home. Credit: Tom Hilaire via Storyful