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Rare Whale: North Atlantic Right Whale Mother and Calf in Florida Inlet For Two Days

Feb 11, 2016 03:46 PM EST
North Atlantic right whales
A North Atlantic right whale mother and calf recently spent two days in an inlet north of Vero Beach, Florida. A whale researcher who has conducted work in the area for 17 years said she had never seen them do this.
(Photo : Flickr: NOAA)

A North Atlantic right whale mother and calf hung out this week for two days in Florida's Sebastian Inlet, off Brevard County and north of the town of Vero Beach. They were near the Indian River Lagoon.

The two swam back and forth while onlookers took snapshots. The mother is about 45 feet long, and her calf is about 18 feet.

"In my 17 years of doing this, I have not seen them doing this inside of Sebastian Inlet," Julie Albert, director of a whale monitoring network with the nonprofit Marine Resources Council, said in an article on, part of USA Today.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers were preventing boats from drawing too near to the endangered whales.

North Atlantic right whales are one of the rarest of the large whales in the world. There are thought to be 450-500 of the whales. Each fall, they migrate from Canada and New England down the Atlantic Coast to their calving grounds off Georgia and Florida.

Right whales have a dark color and lack a dorsal fin.

"It's very unusual that they would come into an inlet," Lenny Salberg with the FWC said in the article about the whales. He assured that the state biologists have made certain that the whales are not ill, however. "These are very healthy whales."

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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