Two calves spotted off the Georgia Coast

Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 7:04 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The right whale calving season is underway and began in a great way two calves were already spotted off the Georgia Coast.

Eleven miles off the coast of Ossabaw Island on Dec. 8 Georgia DNR documented a seemingly happy, healthy right whale calf playing with its mother. Another mother calf duo was spotted the next day.

“The two females that are here both have nicknames, one is Medusa, she’s at least 40 years old and she’s had seven calves. And the other one’s a female named Archepeligo, she’s at least 20 years old and this is her third calf,” Clay George said.

George and his crew safely got some samples and then moved away to observe the first pair.

“Drones have really helped us out a lot because we can keep the boat at a good distance away from the whales and not disturb them and they do their thing, you can see in that video the calf is rolling around on its mom’s back; it’s pirouetting; it’s having a really good time. And the drones kinda let us get a peek how they behave without bothering them,” George said.

Right whales are easy to hit because they move slowly in the water and are dark and difficult to see.

“I can tell you what we do, we’ll plane the boat out at 16-20 knots, and keep a really sharp look out; and you would be surprised, just last week we were boating along and I looked over to the right and saw a dark object and it turned out to be a right whale.”

Boating speed reduction legislation proposed by the National Ocean Atmospheric Administration will not be in place this year so making sure you’re obeying current laws while boating, will help keep the right whale population from dwindling even more than it’s current 350 known in the wild.