Unlike the long studied population travelling every year between Alaska and the lagoons of Baja California, the highly endangered Western Pacific grey whales are not so well known. Those whales spend their summers around Sakhalin Island in Russia, and scientists wanted to find out where they spend their winters.
With this aim one whale, named "Flex", was tagged last summer and satellite-monitored by U.S. and Russian scientists.
Guesses centred around the South China Sea. So Flex's decision to take off at top speed across the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska and then head down the west coast of North America has taken researchers by surprise… M.J.