March 30 (UPI) -- Researchers in British Columbia shared photos of a sperm whale's "extremely rare" appearance in inshore waters.
The Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Research Program posted photos to Facebook that were snapped by researchers at the Pacific Biological Station.
The photos show a sperm whale known as Yukusam swimming in Johnstone Strait waters Wednesday off Nanaimo.
Yukusam was previously spotted swimming in the Johnstone Strait in February, and that occasion was the first time a sperm whale was known to have visited the area since 1984, when acoustic detection picked up a whale, but researchers were not able to catch a glimpse.
Jessica Torode of the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that Yukusam's visit is "pretty much an anomaly" and "extremely rare."
"It's unclear to why he's here. He could just be searching out a new region, looking for fish in this area. Normally, they're found quite far offshore, usually off the continental slope, so you won't really see them," she said.