Young grey whale ‘lost’ in Mediterranean

A younger grey whale has been sighted off the southern French coast in current days, misplaced in the Mediterranean and making an attempt unsuccessfully to make it again to its pure habitat, the northern Pacific.

The whale, eight metres lengthy and round 15 months outdated, had already been seen off Morocco in March, after which once more in Italian waters, first close to Naples, then Rome after which Genoa.

Pacific grey whales are native to the Pacific, with a lot of them spending winters off the Mexican state of Baja California and summers in Alaska.

"It's possible that the whale, born in California, got lost in the Beaufort Sea [in the Arctic] during its first feeding season," Adrien Gannier, a veterinary surgeon and a member of the rescue community, advised AFP.

"Instead of returning down to the Pacific, it probably went the Atlantic way and then got trapped in the Mediterranean," he mentioned.

Grey whales often keep close to the coast and feed in shallow waters.

Mr Gannier mentioned he had noticed the younger cetacean close to Bormes-Les-Mimosas, on the French Riviera, the place the port authorities managed to entice it to take course again into the open sea.

The hope is now that the younger whale makes its well beyond the Gulf of Lion and the Spanish coast, exits the Mediterranean close to Gibraltar and travels north throughout the Atlantic.

"It seems in quite good health, but thin because its feeding pattern is not adapted to the Mediterranean," Mr Gannier mentioned.

Although grey whales can journey as much as 19,000 kilometres throughout their annual migration, they hardly ever get this misplaced.

The final time a grey whale was sighted in the Mediterranean was in 2010, off the Israeli and Spanish coasts, Mr Gannier mentioned.

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