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Rare Southern Right Whale Spotted Calving off Browns Bay

21 August 2012

Rare Southern Right Whale Spotted Calving off Browns Bay, Auckland

An extremely rare southern right whale was spotted giving birth this morning off Browns Bay in Auckland, says AUT University marine researcher Emma Beatson.

The unusual sighting has researchers excited.

“Southern right whales are a nationally endangered species that were heavily exploited by whalers. They are slowly recovering, but not a lot is known about them,” says Beatson, who is currently observing the whale from nearby waters.

“They generally breed around the Auckland Islands at this time of year. While they are sometimes sighted around the mainland of New Zealand, it’s very rare to see a southern right whale coming into shallow waters to calve.”

Southern right whales can grow up to 18 metres and are naturally inquisitive creatures.

ENDS

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