This California Gray whale sure likes the attention she’s receiving from a whale watcher. In this adorable clip, a whale is up close next to a boat of whale watchers and getting her nose rubbed and receiving kisses.
The passengers are all “oohs and “ahhs” as the whale expresses what can only be described as contentment at getting petted. You can hear one of the expedition members asking the whale “You want more?” and the whale answers with a trumpet.
This Gray whale is likely one of the friendly gray whales located in Laguna San Ignacio (San Ignacio Lagoon) in Baja California Sur.
“Baja is the only place in the world where gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) swim up to pangas to be stroked, petted, kissed, and even hugged. It’s incredible,” explains Nautilus Liveaboards on their YouTube channel. The group organizes whale excursions in the area.
They further explain, “Interaction is entirely on the whales’ terms, with mama whales even pushing their calves against the side of the boats to be stroked.”
They added, “Baja Expeditions founder Tim Means pioneered gray whale trips in San Ignacio 29 years ago by partnering with local fishermen. Our camps support conservation and mangrove restoration projects and returns a share of your trip cost to the local community.”
Laguna San Ignacio is a very well-known nursing area for the California Gray Whale, and is famous among nursing grounds for its “friendly encounters.”
Hundreds of people from all over the world come to the region to see the whales up close.