Rare whale swims up West Coast to Russian home (Huffington Post)

By Dan Joling

From: Huffington Post

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A rare western Pacific gray whale that crossed the Pacific Ocean from Russian waters and spent time off Baja Mexico has moved back north along the west coast of the United States.

Scientists expect the whale to cross the Pacific again to summer feeding grounds off Russia’s Sakhalin Island.

The 9-year-old whale was named Varvara, the Russian version of Barbara. It was tagged off Sahkalin last fall by U.S. and Russia scientists.

Her journey is the first time scientists have documented an endangered western gray whale traveling to Baja Mexico, where most eastern gray whales breed and give birth every year.

Oregon State University’s Bruce Mate says that as of Saturday, Varvara had passed the entire West Coast and was in Canadian waters at the northwest end of Vancouver Island

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