Moon, The Humpback Whale, Unbelievably Migrated Thousands of Miles Despite Spinal Injury

Moon, The Humpback Whale, Unbelievably Migrated Thousands of Miles Despite Spinal Injury

A lot of animals migrate from one place to another due to various reasons. Humpback whales are one of those species that travel for thousands of miles as an annual routine. Their route is from their summer feeding grounds to their winter breeding locations. Weather change is a huge factor in humpback whales' migration, as they move to tropical waters whenever winter approaches. Hawaii is their stop, which is the right warm temperature to give birth to their calves. It’s a system that helps humpback whales avoid scattered calves in the cold waters of their feeding areas.

Research centers have observed groups of humpback whales journeying from Canada to Hawaii. Their observation involved a particular female whale named Moon. For 15 years, the Pacific Whale Foundation and Fin Island Whale Research Center have kept an eye on her — watching Moon’s progress and situation in the wild since they found her off the northern coast of British Columbia. However, the team received heartbreaking news in September 2022, which has saddened the world. Moon was spotted with a distorted body, shaped like an S, which was later determined as a severe spinal injury.

 width= Photo: Youtube/Global News

According to reports, the injury might have been an impact of a vessel strike. The condition inflicted serious pain and has also disallowed her tail to propel as she swims. It was indeed devastating news, but Moon proved that she was resilient and stronger than she looks. Because at the end of 2022, Moon finished her journey from Canadian waters to Hawaiian waters like the rest of her family. The researchers were shocked at how she swam through 3,000 thousand miles of water with a severe spinal injury. Moon thought of another way to swim with the others by using her pectoral fins and breast stroking her way to tropical waters.

“This migration is part of their culture, their tradition. Moon was probably born in Hawaii. And she just goes back every single year, because that’s what her mother taught her to do. It’s been passed down from mother to calf. That’s likely what drove her to travel all that way with her injury,” says Janie Wray, CEO and lead researcher from BC Whales. Although she arrived safely, Moon was infested with whale lice upon entering Hawaii. Moreover, her fat reserves were all used up during her journey, and they have no food sources in their breeding grounds.

 width= Photo: Youtube/Global News

People are now spreading awareness of collisions between ships and whales. Also, citizens, primarily those maneuvering water vehicles, are highly encouraged to follow the following reminders:

  • Parallel viewing
  • Exercising caution and vigilance around whales
  • Abide by whale warning flags
  • “If you see a blow, go slow”

Let Moon serve as a reminder that the ocean is their home and humans are only visitors. Be a more careful and courteous guest to avoid accidents that threaten life underwater. Humpback whales need safer waters to continue their tradition and maintain their population. Get involved with protecting wildlife by sharing Moon’s story on your social media pages.

Ergil Ermeno

I strive to learn and excel more in content creation, including blog writing, graphic design, social media posts, and video editing. Photography is one of those skills that I take an interest in. However, I do not use my photography skills for work as I treat the activity as my hobby. My usual subjects are my pets and loved ones. The lovely fur babies at home make photography even more fun, especially now that I am in a remote setup for work.

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