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Each winter, California gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) migrate southward along the western coastline of North America, leaving their summer feeding grounds in Canada and Alaska, traveling 5,000 miles to the warm, protected waters in the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. Pregnant females are believed to leave first and sometimes give birth to their calves along the way. (On 1999, one injured calf was rescued from the ocean near Southern California. She was rehabilitated at Sea World in San Diego and released to join the following year's migration.) Once the whales arrive inside the lagoons, the calves benefit from the warmth, salinity and safety of the shallow waters. Click here to view the whale migration map.

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