Inge the humpback whale

The Story of Inge

Inge was lovingly named by Susan and Marshall Mortenson in honor of their granddaughter.

Inge is a female humpback whale sighted by Ocean Discovery crew while on the 2:00 pm whalewatch tour on February 25, 2014 three miles off of Lahaina Harbor. It is often difficult to discern if a humpback whale is a male or female; however, since Inge was observed with a calf we know for certain she is a female. At the same time, Inge was observed with the escort whale, Eli.

The whales were traveling north northwest in waters 213 feet deep when they were sighted. The calf was active and at the end of the encounter, both Inge and the escort whale were seen inverted tail slapping together.

Humpback whales are the most acrobatic of the great whales. In Hawai’i, the behaviors commonly observed are associated with male competition, mating, and child rearing. Escorts often follow mother-­calf pairs in hopes of mating with the mother. The association is short-­lived but can lead to competition if other males are nearby.

Female humpback whales typically get pregnant while in Hawai’i and give birth here the following year when they return; however, most females rest a year between births.

The Pacific Whale Foundation research team and vessel crew will continue to watch for Inge and document any future sightings. We are grateful to Susan and Marshall Mortenson for supporting the Pacific Whale Foundation name-­an-­animal program and to you for adopting Inge. Your adoption will support the ongoing research efforts at Pacific Whale Foundation.

Sightings of Inge