A rare bowhead whale was first spotted two years ago in Cape Cod Bay, and that very same whale has returned to those waters.
Bowhead whales normally spend their whole lives in polar regions, unlike other baleen whales that tend to migrate out of colder Arctic waters to eat and reproduce, United Press International reports.
“This is yet another remarkable sighting in what has been a remarkable several years in our studies of Cape Cod Bay,” said Dr. Charles “Stormy” Mayo, the director of the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies Right Whale Habitat Studies program, in a statement.
Corey Accardo, also with the Right Whale Habitat Studies program, said feeding is especially good at the moment, WBZ-TV reports.
"This time of year is when we get a large influx of zoo plankton in Cape Cod Bay and along with that, we get a lot of Right Whales coming to feed in this area," Accardo said.
So how did researchers know this was the same whale spotted in 2012?
When spotted – first in Cape Cod Bay and then a few days later near Race Point – researchers were able to determine it was a bowhead whale when reviewing photographs, The Boston Globe reports.
Researchers also were able to match the bowhead's scars - one, a dot near its blowhole and another shaped like a crescent moon on its body - with scars that had been noted on the bowhead seen in 2012, and enabling them to say that it was the same animal.