Delighted tourist gets a kiss from a 30-tonne gray whale


Delighted tourist gets a kiss from a 30-tonne gray whale

An extremely lucky tourist had a very up close and personal encounter with a 30-tonne gray whale in Mexico.

The 40ft gray whale - and its curious calf - stunned their guests by drifting in for hugs and kisses.

The heartwarming photographs were captured by photographer Justin Hofman off the coast of Baja California, Mexico.

Mr Hofman, from California, told Barcroft Media: "This is the most amazing wildlife encounter on the planet. It's impossible not to smile and laugh at these incredible whales.

"There are lots of gray whales that are friendly and seek out contact, not just one individual."

He added: "It's a very powerful experience when a whale is looking into you.

"The number one comment I hear afterwards, besides that they feel so weird and rubbery, is that people say the whale looked right at them.

"People walk away fundamentally changed after an experience like this."

Gray whales migrate more than 5,000 miles from their summer feeding grounds in the Bering and Okhotsk seas of the Arctic.

They use the relatively warm waters off Mexico to give birth, mate and nurse their newborns.

The naturally curious species has made a dramatic recovery since it was nearly hunted to extinction in the early part of the 20th century.

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