SAN DIEGO—A beluga whale was spotted off the coast of San Diego, in what is believed to be the first West Coast sighting of the Arctic roaming whale. The rare sighting happened about seven miles from Mission Bay on June 26 and was captured on drone video by Gone Whale Watching owner Domenic Biagini.
The sighting has left scientists and experts baffled. It’s the first time there has ever been a confirmed sighting of a beluga whale so far south of its closest known home in Alaska. According to the International Mammal Project, Belugas typically roam in Arctic and sub-Arctic waters – at least 2,500 miles away from San Diego.
Experts said the whale’s body and skin appear in good condition, which indicates it is finding food despite being so far out of its range and in much warmer water.
NOAA officials are asking boaters to keep their eyes out for the white whale.
If you observe this beluga, officials ask people to remain at least 100 yards away, note the location (GPS coordinates are best), and call the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 866-767-6114 or 562-506-4315.