It was a rare sight indeed. Three beluga whales, which are most exclusively found in Arctic waters, were spotted swimming in Narragansett Bay on Saturday just a couple hundred yards off of Jamestown, RI. The rare sight was recorded by David DeSalvo and Matthew King.
Posted by David DeSalvo on Facebook
This rare site, however, is not without precedent. Last June, a beluga whale was spotted swimming in the Taunton River.
— Scott Gebelein (@ScottGebelein) June 23, 2014
In June 2014 the Fall River Herald News spoke with Tony LaCasse, the media relations director of the New England Aquarium, who said:
it might have been pushed out of its natural habitats by other animals, or it might have made a mistake when searching for its migration routes.
LaCasse also said this whale could just be a young creature filled with wanderlust, as are many “wrong-way” animals.
“When do you backpack across Europe or road trip across country? When you’re young. Sea animals have the same sort of ambitions as humans,” LaCasse said.
Beluga whales are typically found in groups, or pods, of two to 10 or more, LaCasse said, though it is not rare for them to go out on their own.
Beluga whales are rarely seen south of the St. Lawrence River in Canada and, although they are common sights in U.S. aquariums, are listed as near-threatened. People are asked to stay at least 150 feet away from the whales.