Whale watchers witness rare birth off California coast

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Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A whale watching expedition off the California coast encountered what initially appeared to be a whale in distress but turned out to be something much more rare -- a gray whale giving birth.

Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari shared a video to YouTube showing the mother and her newborn calf swimming off the coast of Dana Point.


"For a minute, many of us thought it may be a shark or predatory event. But no, instead of the end of life, it was the beginning of a new one," the video's caption reads.

The group said the sight was a "once-in-a-lifetime" event for the passengers and crew, as gray whales typically give birth in the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico.

"Gray whale calves are about 15 feet long when they're born and will gain over 50 pounds a day feeding on their mother's milk," the video caption reads.

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