A scarce and unusual sight of the Seattle coast has recently departed, baffling both wildlife enthusiasts and scientists. A beluga seems to feel extremely comfortable in these waters, all alone.
The last time one was spotted here was over 80 years ago. But still, what’s even more fascinating is the marine creature nearly 1,500 miles from home.
Belugas are highly social creatures, and they live in large groups in the frozen waters of the Arctic Ocean. So it’s very unusual to spot a beluga – all alone – swimming 30 miles off the Seattle coast. Now, marine scientists are trying to unravel this odd behavior.
Howard Garrett, the co-founder of Orca Network, explained: “The nearest beluga population is Cook Inlet, Alaska (nearly 1,500 miles away from Seattle). “I haven’t tested the water temperature there, but I’m sure it’s a bit colder up there than here.”
The original ‘lost’ beluga was discovered earlier this month by Jason Rogers while swimming in Puget Sound’s waters.
“It was definitely a surreal experience,” the man said“. Commencement Bay sailing was the last place we thought we would see a whale, much less a beluga! There it was, swimming peacefully, even though it really felt out of place. ”
So far, no one has an explanation for the beluga’s odd behavior. However, marine experts have noticed the mammal swam around three different shipyards.
Howard Garrett said: “I don’t understand the attraction of a shipyard to a beluga. “Until we have some indication, my default hypothesis is that this whale just decided to go out for a walk, to explore. It’s not entirely unheard of, but it’s certainly rare. ”
See lonely beluga swimming around Seattle’s coast.