Pod of 23 Whales Spotted Off Rancho Palos Verdes, Largest in 30 Years

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A whale-watching group got even more than they expected. According to the Los Angeles Times, the group was treated to views of a 23-member gray whale pod off the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes in California.

This is the largest gray whale pod seen in the area in 30 years. Usually the animals travel alone or in groups of 2 or 3.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to have that many whales there," said Alisa Schulman-Janiger, the director and coordinator of the American Cetacean Society/Los Angeles Chapter Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project.

The whale-watching group who witnessed the amazing animal gathering almost missed the event. Their boat was about to go back to land when the captain received a call that a large group of whales were spotted by animal volunteers.

When Schulman-Janiger got the call about the pod, she immediately raced out to see the whales. Before this, the largest pod the director had seen was a group of 12 or so gray whales, back in 1985.

Gray whales are currently migrating through the area, having started in Alaska in the late fall. Whale census takers have counted 460 of the creatures so far, one of the highest counts in the past 15 years.

Researchers hope that amazing sightings like this one will inspire people to care for the ocean and its beautiful animals. But whale experts do warn animal lovers not to get too close to the pod, because human interaction can disrupt their migration.


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