Incredible video captures the “once in a lifetime” event that passengers on a whale watching expedition witnessed when they saw a grey whale give birth to a calf off the coast of California.
Gray whales migrate from the Arctic Ocean and the north Pacific ocean to the warmer waters of the Baja lagoons in Mexico and the California coast in the US as winter sets in in September. They reach their destination around December, where they stay until mid-April to mate and give birth to juvenile.
A Captain Dave’s Dana Point Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari boat group approached what at first appeared to be a migrating whale in distress, writhing in the water close to the surface off Dana Point in Orange County, according to a company post on Youtube.
Something orange and blue was seen in the ocean that the crew and passengers initially mistook for kelp or something more ominous. A calf surfaced as they got closer.
“For a brief moment, many of us believed it might be a shark attack or other predatory occurrence. But no, it wasn’t the end of life; rather, it was the start of a new one, the company said in the post.
In a video, the mother is seen swimming in the water with the calf while she spins around and appears to show off her new baby to the onlookers who are watching whales.
As the infant learns to swim, the two may be seen knocking into each other.
According to the company, grey whales normally give birth in the safe, warm lagoons of Baja California, although occasionally calves are born during the 10,000–12,000–mile journey from their feeding areas in Alaska.
According to the post, calves are already around 15 feet long at birth and will gain up to 50 pounds per day while feeding on their mothers’ milk, leading the mother to lose up to 30% of her body weight in fat.
Gray whales can grow to be 40 to 50 feet long and 30 to 40 tonnes in weight.