Baby Whale gets Tired, Tries to Get Piggyback Ride from Mom (and Fails)

In a scene that should be instantly familiar to any parent of toddlers past or present, this days-old baby grey whale got tired of moving under its own power and tried to hitch a ride on mom’s back instead.

To be fair to the youngster, the journey it’s embarked on is a remarkably long one.

According to the Orange County Register, the whale pair was filmed off the coast of Dana Point, California heading south, presumably toward the Mexican lagoons where grey whales generally breed.

Baby whale gets tired, tries (and fails) to get piggyback ride from mom |  Whales and Dolphins | Earth Touch News

Once there, the trek will be far from over. After a layover of around a month (the whales typically stay until March), they’ll head back up to the coasts of Alaska. This annual migration is one of the longest on earth.

Mother whales of many species will prop up their young in this way to help them rest or surface easily.

The behaviour is most often observed in the first days after birth, but it’s not uncommon for older babies to hitch a ride as well:

അമ്മ തിമിംഗലത്തിന്റെ പുറത്തേറിയ കുഞ്ഞൻ തിമിംഗലം; ദൃശ്യങ്ങൾ കൗതുകമാകുന്നു | Baby  whale gets tired | tries to get piggyback ride from mom​​ | അമ്മ  തിമിംഗലത്തിന്റെ ...

And this latest attempted piggyback ride, filmed by Dana Wharf Whale Watching charter boat captain Todd Mansur, is not the only cute whale footage captured recently by lucky Californians.

A different whale-watching outfit, Newport Coastal Adventure, captured aerial footage of a curious newborn calf just a week before.

With protective mom in tow, the baby whale moved in to investigate the boat just off the coast of Laguna Beach, according to photographer and drone operator Mark Girardeau.

“I don’t know if the baby got confused and mistook our boat for another whale. Maybe since the baby was less than a few days old, [it] was still trying to figure out what’s happening in the world,” Girardeau told local media, adding that the mother seemed unimpressed by her calf’s antics.

“I’m sure she’s seen lots of boats before. She was more like, ‘Hey, get back here.” The two calves were both likely born during the migration south – a fairly common occurrence.

In addition to the western coast of North America, grey whales have been spotted off the coasts of Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines and Russia in recent years.

The animals are oceanic giants, with adult females measuring up to 15 metres (approximately 49 feet) long and weighing up to 34 tonnes when pregnant.

And despite their generally placid nature, these gentle giants are known to defend their young with great ferocity.

Show More

Leave a Reply

Back to top button