On Monday this week, the whale watching boats of Dolphin Safari were in for a surprise that even the longtime captains had never seen – a Mama gray whale with two calves, steaming their way up from Baja’s calving and nursing grounds to Arctic feeding grounds.
While there was some speculation that the calves were twins – which would be incredibly rare – the consensus is that the adult female took in an orphaned calf to make the trip. Marine scientists say that giving birth to and nursing one calf is draining enough – having two calves would nearly emaciate the mother … and this dear whale seemed quite healthy.
The rare sighting was captured by both an overhead drone and camera footage on the boat. News reports say that the trio of gray whales is hundreds of miles behind most of the 20,000 gray whales that migrate toward the Bering Sea region. This could either be a good thing or a bad thing as predators to the calves are well accustomed to the usual traverse of mothers and calves from the end of April through May.
Let’s hope for the best for the trio.