On January 5, conjoined gray whale calves were found dead floating in Laguna Ojo de Liebre in Mexico’s Baja California. They were joined at the mid-section, had two heads and two tales and, due to their length, 7 feet, appear to have been born prematurely. Fully developed calves are usually 15-feet long when they are born and weigh about 2000 pounds.
Also known as Scammon’s Lagoon, Ojo de Liebre is a protected breeding/calving ground that is the winter home to more than a thousand gray whales. The cetaceans migrate each year from their summer feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi seas making the longest known annual migration by a mammal.
Laguna Ojo de Liebre is one of three lagoons visited by the grays. The other two are San Ignacio Lagoon and Magdelena Bay. Each year thousands of two-legged mammals known as humans make their own migration to these areas for on-the-water tours where it’s not unusual to get to pet one of the world’s largest creatures. Mature grey whales range in length from 40 to 50 feet and weigh 50,000 to 80,000 pounds.“
The warm temperature, shallow depth, and limited access to the open sea, make the Mexican lagoons the ideal places for these marine mammals to mate and to give birth,” states greywhale.com. “The pregnant females and those with calves concentrate in the inner lagoon, furthest from the sea. The majority of births occur from January to the end of February.”