Very sadly, it appears the North Atlantic Right Whale yearling found near Barnstable died from blunt trauma.

“Preliminary findings of bruising were consistent with blunt trauma,” according to NOAA Fisheries, which oversaw the necropsy. “There was no evidence of entanglement. Final diagnosis is pending ancillary laboratory tests that can take weeks or months.”

The young whale was a female, and was approximately 27 feet long. She has been identified as a one-year old offspring of Eg#4094 from the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog born in 2016.”

According to the Cape Cod Times, “No. 4094 was born in 2010 and was nicknamed Mayport for her exploration of waters near Mayport Naval Base in Jacksonville, Florida. She was slightly younger than most right whales are when they start to birth. Her yearling had been seen last summer in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, off the northeast coast of Canada, an area the species has been occupying more and more recently.”

There are only five hundred of these magnificent mammals remaining on earth. Every single whale is important. The utmost caution is advised when viewing the whales. Boaters are urged to travel slowly and to keep at least 500 yards or 1500 feet away, and this includes kayakers, paddle boarders, swimmers, and rowers too.Right Whale and her calf, photographed on April 14th at Cape Cod Bay by the Center for Coastal Studies aerial team.

Read the full statement from NOAA here.

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