Monday, January 25, 2010

Wart #1140 Resighted

Wart, #1140, one of our adoptive whales, was reported entangled March 6, 2008. Rope entered and exited from her mouth. She was seen several times in March in Cape Cod Bay and then not again until February 25, 2009, still entangled and again in Cape Cod Bay. On January 24, 2010, she was seen again still entangled but this time further north in the Gulf of Maine in Jordon's Basin, a winter habitat that has been surveyed primarily by plane for the last several years and may be one of the mating areas for right whales. There were other right whales in the area but she was observed alone and probably feeding because of the long dive times.

Calving areas are separate from other activities and usually only a small proportion of the population attend (pregnant females, juveniles and a few non-pregnant adult whales) and are found from North Carolina to Florida along this coast.

The Center for Coastal Studies entanglement website has described the entanglement which continues to change orientation but persists with line coming out of the mouth. It does not appear life threatening but a continuing irritation to the whale. Disentangling right whales is not an easy task. Right whales seldom slow their swimming and show active avoidance and resistance to approaching disentanglers. Wart will continue to be monitored.

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