Researchers have spotted three beluga whales swimming in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay.
Beluga whales or white whales are native to the Arctic region, which means that the trio spotted in Narragansett Bay are far away from home. A fully grown adult male can measure up to 5.5 meters, or 18 feet, long and weigh up to 1,600 kilograms or about 3,500 pounds.
Dr. Allison Tuttle, the lead veterinarian at Mystic Aquarium, revealed that Narragansett Bay is not a natural habitat for the beluga whales and in 2014 beluga whales were also spotted in Taunton River.
A video taken by a local shows the beluga whale trio swimming near the town of Jamestown in Rhode Island.
"While only video footage is available at this time, the behavior witnessed looks to be normal," said Dr. Tuttle.
Experts from the Mystic Aquarium went to the waters near Warwick so that they can investigate the whale sightings.
"We were tracking the group of three whales traveling kind of parallel to the bridge," said Justin Richard of Mystic Aquarium. "They were traveling as a group. We were seeing nice group behaviors."
Mystic Aquarium and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries are now working with local authorities so that they can find the whales.
Experts do not believe that the beluga whales spotted near Rhode Island are in danger or distress. However, officials want to observe the whales to ensure that they are doing well and not in any sort of danger.
Dr. Tuttle said that water in the region has been colder in comparison to previous years. The colder waters may have resulted in the influx of large numbers of squid, which the whales may have followed. However, the exact reason for the beluga whale spotting in Narragansett Bay is yet to be determined.
Local authorities recommend that if people sight the whales again, they should maintain safe distance and contact the Mystic Aquarium.
Many people may want to see the beluga whales in the wild. However, people instead have the opportunity to see beluga whales on exhibit at the Mystic Aquarium.
Check out the video of the beluga whale sighting in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay:
Photo: Mike Johnston | Flickr