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Missing 13-year-old Flex

Grey whales are a critically endangered species. There are only about 1,300 of them left in the whole world. This whale is best known for travelling great distances. Migrating along the coast of North America, they go as far as feeding grounds in the Sea of Okhotsk (Russia) near Sakhalin Island, covering a distance of
Published: February 24, 2011 - 17:46
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 07:30
Missing 13-year-old Flex

greywhale Grey whales are a critically endangered species. There are only about 1,300 of them left in the whole world. This whale is best known for travelling great distances. Migrating along the coast of North America, they go as far as feeding grounds in the Sea of Okhotsk (Russia) near Sakhalin Island, covering a distance of as much as 16,000 – 22,400 km!

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No other animal known to science travels this far. Last year in October, scientist Bruce Mate, director of the Marine Mammal Institute (Oregon State University) working with the Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences tagged one individual petting the name “Flex”. The puffin was tagged as it embarked on its journey from Russia.

Thanks to modern technology, scientists were able to trace the entire route of the whale, which swam through the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska, the Oregon coast all the way south to the Golden State of California. This is very unusual for this species of whale, which usually spends winters near Russia.

After more than 125 days of sightings, the 13-year-old ‘Flex’ has disappeared. The last signal sent by his transmitter reached scientists on February 4, 2011, after sailing 8586 km, anyone who has seen the missing is asked to contact the Marine Mammal Institute in Oregon .

Photo: wisley/flicker
Source: http://mmi.oregonstate.edu/

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Marcin Pawelczyk
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