Health & Wellness

Beluga travels solo to Massachusetts — and has a whale of a time

It seems humans aren't the only ones who like to take a summer vacation. After numerous sightings of what appeared to be a white whale in Massachusetts' Taunton River, the International Fund for Animal Welfare confirmed on June 18 that a young beluga had in fact taken up residence near Beantown.



Pictures of the mysterious whale have been popping up on social media, with Twitter user Scott Gebelein locating the whale near the Taunton Yacht Club on June 16, and Zach Perrin posting a Facebook photo of the whale on June 21 with the caption, "A beluga whale right here in the Taunton River! A long ways from home, isn't it?"

Though beluga whales are usually found in the colder waters of the Arctic and sub-Arctic, Tony LaCasse, the media relations director of the New England Aquarium, told the Fall River Herald News that it could have gone south for a number of reasons. 

LaCasse said the young whale could have been edged out of its habitat by other animals, or have gotten lost during its migration. Or it's possible he could just be a little adventurous. 

“When do you backpack across Europe or road trip across the country? When you’re young. Sea animals have the same sort of ambitions as humans,” LaCasse said in an interview with the Herald News. 

And so far it seems like the whale's little getaway is going just fine. Though the IFAW is monitoring the whale, the organization told the Herald News it won't intervene "unless the animal's health begins deteriorating." 

The whale, on the other hand, seems content to keep swimming around, creating a Twitter firestorm and seeing what New England has to offer. But in the meantime, whale be watching it.