Scientists with the Marine Education and Research Society were blown away after discovering a critically endangered North Pacific right whale swimming off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.
The North Pacific right whale is one of the most elusive whales.
In fact, according to Global News, it’s only the fourth time that one has been spotted in Canadian waters in seven decades.
Jared Towers and James Pilkington were fortunate enough to document the sighting, and Jared shared the photos and videos on Facebook. As Jared shared on Facebook, when on the last day of their 2-week expedition, they finally caught a glimpse of the majestic creature.
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He explained that the images they collected will be used to tell if the whale has been sighted before in Alaska or Russia, what sex it is, and what species of copepod it was feeding on.
We made a bet based on very limited data that if we were going to find a critically endangered North Pacific Right Whale…
In an interview with the Times Colonist, Jared said, “After two weeks, hundreds of miles under the keel and only one day left, we came upon this massive creature… It’s nice to know our efforts were validated because we took a chance on a right whale being there.”
Speaking with The Globe And Mail, Pilkington said: “We were really, really hoping we will find another one, but we both kind of knew that we probably wouldn’t. It’s a combination of excitement, adrenalin, and just being completely humbled that it is right there in front of you.”
North Pacific right whales weigh up to 90 tons and have a lifespan of 70+ years. Sadly, the IUCN reports that the species was pushed to the brink of extinction due to past years of poaching and more recent deaths associated with fishing.
At the end of 2018, it’s estimated there were fewer than 250 mature individuals left.Whizzco