Scientists Respond to the Lone Beluga in Puget Sound

In October 2021 sightings networks in Puget Sound such as Orca Network, have been buzzing with the bizarre sighting of a lone Beluga whale far from his or her family in Arctic homewaters. The whale has dazzled whale watchers on boats and from home viewing live helicopter footage from a news station. The beluga’s brilliant white body is easy to spot and is completely out of place against our urban shorelines. It’s concerning for a whale to be separated and observed outside his or her natural habitat. Scientists are now trying to figure out who this whale is and where he or she came from. Listen to learn more about the methods they are employing to match this whale to an existing population and how you can help. On this episode we’re joined by Barbara Mahoney, NOAA Fisheries Biologist. Barbara works on beluga recovery and is also the acting Marine Mammal Strandings Coordinator for the state of Alaska. She gives us insight into the world of beluga whales to better understand our wayward beluga.

Learn more about the endangered Cook Inlet beluga population.

When whales appear in strange places! Learn more in this informative article.

If you see the beluga in Puget Sound, please give the animal space and notify researchers by calling: Orca Network at 1-360-331-3543 or the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network Hotline at 1-866-767-6114.

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