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Photo from the Italian Coast Guard: The eight-meter-long whale has been sighted off Italy in recent weeks.
A gray whale was discovered off the southern coast of France and apparently got lost in the Mediterranean. Gray whales are very rare there, their natural habitat is the North Pacific.
Mediterranean instead of Pacific: A young gray whale was first discovered off the southern coast of France and apparently lost its way into the Mediterranean. The approximately 15-month-old animal had been sighted several times over the past few days, the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network reported on Sunday. As a result, the eight-meter-long whale has been sighted off Morocco in early March and off Italy in recent weeks.
While a gray whale had already been sighted off Israel and Spain in 2010, the discovery was a first for France, said Adrien Gannier, veterinarian and member of the network. Gray whales are extremely rare in the Mediterranean as their natural habitat is the North Pacific. Most of the population lives in Baja California in the winter and Alaska in the summer.
“It is possible that this California-born whale got lost in the Beaufort Sea during its first feeding season and instead of returning to the Pacific it swam in the Atlantic before getting lost in the Mediterranean. “Said Gannier.
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Experts are now hoping that the little whale will continue its journey to the Gulf of Lion and then the Spanish coast before it can swim in the Atlantic Ocean near Gibraltar, and from there it can once again cross the northern waters into the Pacific. The animal is healthy, but has lost weight because its eating habits are not suited to the Mediterranean, Gannier said.
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A gray whale has been discovered off the southern coast of France and has apparently strayed into the Mediterranean. Gray whales are very rare there, their natural habitat is the North Pacific.