Whale previously spotted at Pearl Harbor pops up off Sandy Beach

Local News

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources was called to East Oahu Friday after a humpback whale was spotted off Sandy Beach.

Officers went out on a boat to ensure the animal wasn’t in any distress.

Aliza Milette-Winfree, a marine mammal specialist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, identified the whale as the same one that was spotted at Pearl Harbor with her calf on Sunday, Feb. 28.

“DLNR was able to respond to the scene and photograph the animal and send it in and we were able to match the underside of the tail flukes from the animal on Sunday,” she said.

Bystanders were worried, since the whale was exhibiting unusual behavior. KHON2 saw her tail sticking out of the water for several minutes at a time. Experts say her calf remained below the surface, swimming in circles.

“While this behavior is fairly unusual, it’s not necessarily abnormal,” Milette-Winfree explained. “It’s likely a resting behavior. Her calf is probably nursing at some times during the behavior. We think that the mother could be potentially regulating, trying to cool off.”

If you do spot a possibly injured or entangled marine mammal, call the NOAA Hotline at 1-888-256-9840 to report it.

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