Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 58° Partly Cloudy
News >  Washington

Beluga whale spotted in Puget Sound near Tacoma, Seattle

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 6, 2021

A Cook Inlet beluga whale calf, left, and an adult breach in August 2009 near Anchorage, Alaska. According to NOAA, beluga whales were spotted in Puget Sound waters near Tacoma and Seattle this week.  (Christopher Garner/Department of Defense)
A Cook Inlet beluga whale calf, left, and an adult breach in August 2009 near Anchorage, Alaska. According to NOAA, beluga whales were spotted in Puget Sound waters near Tacoma and Seattle this week. (Christopher Garner/Department of Defense)
Associated Press

Associated Press

SEATTLE – Two reports of a beluga whale sighting were reported in Puget Sound waters near Tacoma and Seattle this week, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

The two sightings were reported to NOAA Fisheries, with one coming from Commencement Bay around noon on Sunday and the other coming near Elliott Bay on Monday, KING-TV reported.

Sunday’s sighting was captured on video, which was reviewed and confirmed by NOAA experts.

The whale is more than 1,000 miles beyond the typical range for beluga whales, which typically stay near Alaska and throughout the Arctic, according to a statement from NOAA.

“On rare occasions, we have documented similar ‘wayward beluga whales’ on the (West and East coasts of the U.S.) – most recently near San Diego, CA, in June 2020,” the statement reads.

The whale’s current location is also unknown, but NOAA officials said they will monitor the whale’s health while it’s in the area.

The only previously documented sighting of a beluga whale in Puget Sound was in 1940 near Point Defiance.

The beluga whale is protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Anyone who sees this beluga whale should stay at least 100 yards away from it, note the location and call NOAA Fisheries at (866) 767-6114, officials said.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.