BOSTON (AP) — Scientists say six endangered North Atlantic right whales have died in Canadian waters over the past three weeks.
North Atlantic right whales are one of the most endangered large mammals on Earth, with only about 500 still alive.
Scientists with Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium in Boston and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod say they’re alarmed by the high number of deaths.
Woods Hole scientist Mark Baumgartner says the deaths are a “disaster.” He says the loss of so many right whales so quickly was probably last seen when whaling decimated their population in the 19th century.
The six carcasses were first sighted north of Prince Edward Island. One was entangled in fishing gear. Cause of the other five deaths is unknown.
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