Moon the whale from above with the bend in her spine from a ship strike.

Photo Credit: Pacific Whale Foundation

From BC to Hawaii With A Broken Back

Did "Moon" give everything to show her baby how to cross the ocean to breeding grounds?

A mother’s love crosses oceans

We all know mothers will do anything to protect their children.

This is true across all species.

Despite suffering a debilitating injury, a humpback whale named “Moon” has shown parents will truly face the impossible for their kids.

She was documented in BC waters on Sept 7th, travelling past a research station on Fin Island.

She was half paralyzed, left in a permanently contorted S shape after likely being hit head-on by a boat.

Despite being unable to move her tail, and being in a huge amount of pain, she’s made a near-impossible journey across the Pacific Ocean.

“When the images from Maui were shared with us, we knew immediately that this was likely the whale we had photographed — now over 3,000 miles away,” said BC Whales to Black Press Media.

“The harrowing images of Moon’s twisted body in Maui stirred us all. Not only was she likely in considerable pain, but she had somehow migrated thousands of miles across the North Pacific to her Hawaiian breeding grounds without being able to propel herself with her tail.”

She was previously photographed pre-accident with a calf. It could be she was motivated to make the journey in an effort to pass on knowledge of the location of breeding grounds to her baby.

She is “completely emaciated” after the journey, and covered with whale lice.

“We will never truly understand the strength it took for Moon to take on what is regrettably her last journey, but it is on us to respect such tenacity within another species and recognize that vessel strikes lead to a devastating end,” BC Whales wrote.

BC Whales do not believe she will make it back to BC again.

She’s far from the only whale being injured by boats.

New shipping routes for a liquefied natural gas terminal could make this an even more common occurrence.

BC Whales is asking for more slow-down zones in known whale hot spots.

They ask all boaters to “stay alert, slow down and wait” if they see any signs of whales.

You can find out more about boat safety and what you can do to protect our whales at See a Blow Go Slow.