Stunning moment tourists get to pet 50ft California gray whales

These are the incredible moments that stunned tourists came face to face with 50ft California gray whales off the coast of Mexico.

The tourists can't hold back their delight each time the gentle giants arrive at their boat, happily allowing their new friends to pet and stroke them.  

Pictures and footage of these beautiful meetings are taken by award-winning marine life photographer Jeff Pantukhoff in San Ignacio Lagoon, located in the Mulegé municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur.

Pantukhoff, 59, revealed that San Ignacio Lagoon is one of the only places in the world where tourists can experience this kind of up close and personal interaction with California gray whales. 

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Stunned and delighted tourists couldn't believe their eyes when they spotted 50ft California gray whales off the coast of Mexico and had the chance to pet them 

Stunned and delighted tourists couldn't believe their eyes when they spotted 50ft California gray whales off the coast of Mexico and had the chance to pet them 

The small fishing boat gently approached the two gentle giants, who happily allowed the fascinated sightseers on board to pet and stroke them

The small fishing boat gently approached the two gentle giants, who happily allowed the fascinated sightseers on board to pet and stroke them

Pictures and footage of the incredible moment were taken by award-winning marine life photographer Jeff Pantukhoff in San Ignacio Lagoon, located in the Mulegé municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur

Pictures and footage of the incredible moment were taken by award-winning marine life photographer Jeff Pantukhoff in San Ignacio Lagoon, located in the Mulegé municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur

'There are no other species of baleen whales that actively seek out human interaction like this where they approach boats so closely that you can reach out and touch them,' he said. 

California gray whales are found mainly in the shallow waters of the North Pacific Ocean. They are frequently observed traveling alone or in small, unstable groups, although large aggregations may be seen on feeding and breeding grounds.

Gray whales are bottom feeders, sucking sediment and amphipods that are their prey from the sea floor. 

Both the average and maximum lifespan of these marine mammals is unknown, although researchers have estimated that they can live up to 80 years of age.

Pantukhoff, who has led trips out to the lagoon for 25 seasons, approximates there could be anywhere been 200 to 400 hundred gray whales in the area. 

Pantukhoff, 59, revealed that San Ignacio Lagoon is one of the only places in the world where tourists can experience this kind of up close and personal interaction with California gray whales

Pantukhoff, 59, revealed that San Ignacio Lagoon is one of the only places in the world where tourists can experience this kind of up close and personal interaction with California gray whales

Pantukhoff revealed that there is no other species of baleen whales that 'actively seek out human interaction' like the California gray whales, which often approach boats

Pantukhoff revealed that there is no other species of baleen whales that 'actively seek out human interaction' like the California gray whales, which often approach boats

Pantukhoff, who has led trips to out to the lagoon for 25 seasons, approximates there could be anywhere been 200 to 400 hundred gray whales in the area

Pantukhoff, who has led trips to out to the lagoon for 25 seasons, approximates there could be anywhere been

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