There have been several recent sightings of North Atlantic right whales off the coast of Cape Cod, but new footage shows a calf feeding -- something rarely captured on video, according to a Woods Hole Oceanographic scientist.
Spindle, a 41-year-old right whale mom, and her calf were spotted in Cape Cod Bay on Monday, March 27. Video from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), New England Aquarium, and Whale & Dolphin Conservation, shows the calf suckling as it swims under its mother.
According to the nonprofit, this is Spindle's 10th documented calf. Sadly, researchers recently saw one of her other calves with severe entanglement and in poor body condition off the coast of North Carolina.
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The critically-endangered whales are dying faster than they can reproduce, largely due to entanglements in fishing gear and collisions with boats, making every female right whale and calf vital to the species' survival.
WHOI researchers say there are approximately 340 North Atlantic right whales left on the planet, and fewer than 70 reproductively active females.