Posted: Aug 5, 2013 8:10 PM
Updated: Aug 6, 2013 12:51 AM
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND - Whale sightings in the Gulf of Mexico have researchers baffled.
Some of the sightings have happened about 70 miles off South Padre Island. Researcher Tony Reisinger, with the Texas Sea Grant Program, said the sightings are extremely rare.
"This is an unusual happening to see several whales. We even had possible reports of two live species that were sighted," he said.
Reisinger said whales are found in the deeper waters of the Gulf of Mexico and rarely seen. He said the sightings may be a result of the mammals searching for food.
"There was food there, that's why the whales were there. You don't encounter them that much because they are pretty much away offshore," he said.
He said a fisherman reported seeing a dead pygmy whale about 35 miles away from shore. He said researchers are trying to find that whale.
"It's an opportunity to study why they died, find out more about their life history. We don't know that much about whales," Risinger said.
Anyone who spots a whale is asked to call the Texas Sea Grant Program at 956-493-8129.