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Story by Gordon Grearson - The Oregon Herald
Published on Monday February 7, 2011 - 1:08 PM
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NEWPORT, Oregon - A highly endangered whale that spends summers off Russia has moved into waters off the Oregon coast.

The 13-year-old, male western Pacific gray whale, dubbed "Flex," is giving U.S. and Russian researchers insight into where the rare whales may spend winters.

Less than 200 western Pacific gray whales remain. the stock distinct from eastern gray whales that spend summers feeding off northern winter breeding grounds.

Researchers attached a satellite tag to Flex on Oct. 4. It moved east across the Bering Sea and then south through the Aleutian Islands.

Researchers lost the signal for five days but picked it up as the whale moved to 280 miles west of Vancouver Island and then to shallow water roughly 15 miles off Washington and Oregon.

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