Humpback whale spotted off Kilauea

KILAUEA — Kaua‘i’s first humpback whale of the season was spotted Oct. 2 from Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Princeville resident John Riggins said Friday night.

Humpback whales migrate to Hawai‘i from their northern summer feeding area that extends from Northern California to the Bering Sea. They come to the islands to mate, give birth and care for their young.

A pair of humpback whales was sighted off the eastern coast of Lana‘i on Thursday, the first confirmed sighting of the season in Maui County.

The first confirmed sighting for the state was Sept. 26 off the Big Island, several weeks earlier than expected.

Pacific Whale Foundation spokeswoman Anne Rillero told the Associated Press this week that sightings in October aren’t outside the norm.

About 12,000 humpback whales are believed to migrate to Hawai‘i each winter.

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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