The Times podcast: The mystery of the disappearing gray whales

A person looks at a dead gray whale on a beach
A dead gray whale that washed ashore in Mexico’s Laguna San Ignacio.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Graceful, playful and tough, the gray whale is a beloved icon of the Pacific coast. The whales’ annual migration from the waters off Alaska to Baja California is one of the longest undertaken by any mammal, a journey that has happened for thousands of years.


But in the last couple of years, fewer gray whales have made the trip. These magnificent giants are dying in numbers unseen in decades. Nobody knows exactly why, but there are some clues.

Today, we speak with Los Angeles Times investigative reporter Susanne Rust about what’s happening.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guest: L.A. Times investigative reporter Susanne Rust

More reading:

Something is killing gray whales. Is it a sign of oceans in peril?

Gray whales: What to know about our West Coast leviathans and their uncertain future

As cargo shipments boom, ship strikes imperil whales in California and worldwide


How we delved into the odyssey of whale deaths even as a pandemic raged

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, producer Shannon Lin, senior producer Denise Guerra and editors Lauren Raab and Shani O. Hilton. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our intern is Ashlea Brown. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.