Conservationists delight in seeing first mother, calf right whale pair of the season

(WHDH) — Rare whales have been spotted off the coast of Cape Cod Wednesday sparking excitement among conservationists.

North Atlantic Right Whale Millipede, 15, and her 3-month-old calf swam all the way to the Bay State from Little Talbot Island, Florida in just a little more than a month, according to the Center for Coastal Studies.

“By any accounting, this little whale has already beaten the odds,” Dr. Charles “Stormy” Mayo, Director of the CCS Right Whale Ecology Program wrote in a statement. “To reach Cape Cod Bay, Millipede and her calf, the hope for the future of this critically endangered species, had to complete a perilous 1200-mile journey through busy coastal waters.”

The two have taken up in a small bay that is said to be relatively free of danger but in the weeks to come they will leave that safety and make their way farther north.

So far, over 100 right whales have been spotted in Cape Cod Bay this season.

The critically endangered right whale was hunted to near extinction, and the estimated 356 remainings are at constant risk of ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.

Since 2017 there have been 34 recorded right whale deaths, most as a result of entanglement or ship strike; 14 more are known to be entangled or injured.

Millipede herself survived an encounter with a vessel when she was less than a year old but suffered scarring on her left flank from the propellers.

Click here to contribute to CCS’ right whale protection and conservation efforts.

 

 

 

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