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The Story of KEGL
KEGL was named by a ladies’ group whose friendship and love of whales (and all creatures) guided them to help fund the research of one whale. Kumiko, Esther, Geralyne, and LaVonne opted to name a humpback whale KEGL (pronounced Keg-L) from the first letters of each of their names.
KEGL is a humpback whale that is part of Pacific Whale Foundation’s “Australia” family of whales and was originally sighted on August 5, 1987 at the Great Barrier Reef. On July 28, 1997 she was sighted again in Whitsunday and was confirmed she was a female as she was with a calf. She was resighted in the same season on October 25, 1997 in Eden and again the following year, on November 7, 1998, in Eden again with another calf. KEGL’s story does not end there. She was sighted on August 26, 2002 with a calf in Hervey Bay. We are happy to announce KEGL was sighted again on August 9, 2011 in Hervey Bay with another adult and subadult.
Humpback whales are the fifth largest of the world’s great whale species and they live in all of the world’s major oceans. KEGL is a female humpback whale. At adulthood, female humpbacks are larger than males. Pacific humpback females average about 45 feet long in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere females are slightly longer, averaging about 47 to 48 feet in length. No one knows for certain why this is so, but scientists theorize that southern hemisphere whales feed in slightly colder polar waters than their counterparts in the north, and require the extra body size to enhance thermoregulation (heat retention).
Humpback whales are migratory animals, credited with one of the longest migrations in the entire animal kingdom. From September through November (“springtime”), the whales follow the eastern Australia coast back toward Antarctica.
Because we’ve sighted KEGL at different points along the coast of Australia, she has helped to confirm what we know about the migration of this population of whales.
Humpback whales reach sexual maturity at between four and nine years of age. It is very difficult to determine the age of a living humpback whale, which is yet another reason why our resight history of KEGL and other whales is so important. Over time, our resights will help refine our theories about the lifespans of humpback whales.
We thank you for adopting KEGL today and supporting the ongoing research efforts of Pacific Whale Foundation.