Scientists say beluga whale spotted in Puget Sound ‘appears thin’

SEATTLE — Animal experts continue to keep an eye on a beluga whale that was spotted thousands of miles away from its usual home.

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrative said they responded to reports of beluga in Puget Sound last week. They used photos taken from the boat and from the air in addition to eDNA samples to assess the whale’s health. They also used behavioral observations for its health check.

They said it looks like the whale is thin. The good news is they said it didn’t look like it was weak from sickness or lack of food.

NOAA is asking anyone who spots the whale to follow the whale-wise guidelines and stay at least 100 yards away. Whale sightings can be reported to the Orca Network at 360-331-3543.

This is not the first time a beluga whale has been spotted far away from its typical range. In 2020, there was a sighting near San Diego, according to National Geographic.

Beluga whales are typically found in the arctic and subarctic waters.

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