Pets Hunters

The quest to ave Right whales

At least 32 new right whale calves -- more than ever recorded -- have been observed this season off the coasts of Georgia and Florida, where the whales migrate to give birth between late November and March. Only about 400 members of the species exist, and the massive mammal is thought to be the most endangered of all the large whales.

Each birth is seen as a miracle of sorts -- a potential key to the survival of a species that has been through many tough years.

Right whales were named by their hunters who once said they were the "right whale" to kill. When they were harpooned, the chubby whales floated to the surface of the water. That made them both profitable and easy to hunt.

Every morning during calving season, volunteers armed with binoculars and whale-related handouts troll up and down the Florida coast -- climbing to balconies and zipping up elevators to the top floors of high-rise condos and retirement communities -- to look for whales.


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