A Whale Made A 3,000-Mile Journey From Canada to Hawaii – All With A Broken Spine

Even with a fractured spine, a humpback whale managed to travel 3,000 miles from breeding waters in Maui, Hawaii, to hunting areas on the west coast of Canada.

According to the non-profit research organization BC Whales, scientists who had been monitoring the whale known as Moon for years first saw the fatal damage on the female in September 2022. The unusual ‘S’ bend in the whale’s spine from the dorsal fin to her fluke, which was seen as the drone flew overhead, led to the discovery that the whale had been hit by a ship, the company wrote on Facebook.

Moon detection took place on Maui three months later. “We recognized this whale right away when the pictures were shared with us, even though it had traveled more than 3,000 kilometers. Soon later, it was determined to be the Moon,” BC Whales stated.

According to BC Whales, the injury was probably caused by Moon colliding with a vessel. “The graphic depictions of her deformed body moved us all. She must have been in great discomfort because she traveled hundreds of kilometers without being able to use her tail as propulsion. She was so seriously devalued by the voyage that she was utterly malnourished and coated with whale lice,” it said.

As part of a cultural custom that her mother passed down to her when she was a young calf, Moon travels a great distance between the seas of Hawaii and those of Canada.

Janie Wray, CEO and main researcher for BC Whales, said the reality was quite terrible when it came to how the whale was able to go so far. She basically did the breaststroke to achieve that migration without using her tail. Absolutely wonderful,” Wray gushed to The Guardian. It also simply breaks your heart, though.
The fact that Moon would probably pass in the waters around Maui due to the gentle giant’s serious condition makes the situation much more terrifying. According to BC Whales, “In her current state, she will not live to complete the return voyage.”

She’s in pain, but she’s still alive, Wray continued. “We are aware that she won’t visit us again. We all agree that the sooner the better because she will soon die away.

While Wray acknowledged that biologists would like to put the ailing marine animal to sleep, doing so was rejected since it would necessitate the use of poisons that would kill animals who consumed her remnants. “We could step in if she were on land. However, there is little we can do about her because she is in the water and because of her size. And seeing it only hurts your heart even more.

Moon’s tale, according to BC Whales, serves as a warning of the harmful consequences of boat hits.

“Everyone of us needs to work hard to protect whales. Keep an eye out, slow down, and wait since vessels of all sizes might pose a concern. This is the sobering reality of a vessel hit, and it speaks to the prolonged suffering that whales can experience as a result, the statement continued. “To avoid vessel strikes, we encourage all boaters to be informed of their local regulations and best practices. The extent whales will go to in order to follow behavioral patterns also testifies to their instinct and culture.

BC Whales emphasized the need for more vigilance when sailing in open waters.

We can never fully comprehend the courage it required for Moon to embark on what would undoubtedly be her last voyage, but it is our responsibility to appreciate such perseverance in other species and understand that vessel hits result in tragic outcomes.

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