Endangered right whale calf found dead floating off Georgia coast a year after being born

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. — Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported a dead endangered right whale calf was found floating off the Georgia coast.

NOAA says they were notified about the whale on Tuesday near Tybee Island. They identified the whale as a female calf that was born last year.

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The whale’s carcass was “heavily scavenged” by sharks, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. A necropsy will be performed.

“It’s going to be challenge to determine the cause of death because it’s been so heavily predated and decayed,” Georgia DNR spokesman Tyler Jones told the Associated Press.

This isn’t the first endangered calf that has died this year. Another was found near the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in January.


The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most endangered large whale species, according to NOAA. There are fewer than 350 left.

“The waters off coastal Georgia and north Florida are this species’ only known calving grounds. The North Atlantic right whale is also Georgia’s state marine mammal,” DNR said on its website. “The species has been declining rapidly since 2010 because of a combination of high human-caused mortality and low calving rates.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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