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510 right whales estimated worldwide

CCS image under NOAA permit #14603

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. —A right whale known to local researchers as Wart was spotted in Cape Cod Bay Saturday afternoon, researchers from the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown said.

Wart, who the center described as “one of the iconic whales of Cape Cod Bay,” was freed from a life-threatening entanglement with fishing gear in 2010, and three years later, in January 2013, was spotted in Cape Cod Bay with a newborn calf.

Researchers described this as “a rare occurrence, as right whales usually give birth in the warmer waters off Georgia and Florida.”

The population of the nearly-extinct mammal is estimated to be 510 worldwide.

“This season we have identified a total of three right whales that are known to have given birth last winter,” said flight coordinator Corey Accardo. “The other two whales have been identified as Catspaw, sighted on Jan. 16 and 17; and Piper, spotted on Feb. 1.”