Motorists along the Seward Highway spotted what appears to be an adolescent Humpback Whale partially beached along the shore of Turnagain Arm.
According to NOAA Cook Inlet Beluga Recovery Coordinator Verena Gill, the whale had stranded itself sometime during the day on Sunday and had somehow managed to find itself partially stranded again Monday afternoon. NOAA officials were on-site watering the still living whale and are hoping that the whale self-rescues again during the rising tide.
Its not uncommon to see pods of white Beluga whales while driving up and down the Seward Highway along Turnagain Arm, but seeing a Humpback whale is a bit more rare. Researchers suspect that the whale could have followed a pod of Beluga whales up the Turnagain Arm, where it found itself in shallower water, possibly compounded by a rapidly falling tide.
On the Facebook post in relation to the video above, the page Belugas Count writes: “Thank you to Missy Walters for contacting authorities about this stranded humpback whale at Bird Point. She spotted it while out looking for belugas. Happy ending, the whale self rescued and is swimming back to open water…We love our citizen scientists!! If you ever see a stranded marine mammal please call NOAA’s 24/7 stranding hotline at (877) 925-7773. Leave a voicemail and someone will quickly get back to you”