Breaking News
More () »

Whale hello there | New calves spotted off Georgia's coast

Georgia DNR celebrated the sighting and a first-time mom.
Credit: Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute

ATLANTA — It's a new year with new whales swimming along the coast of Georgia.

Four North Atlantic Right Whale calves were spotted in the water to help close out the end of 2022, a signal of a promising future for Georgia's state marine mammal.

During the winter, the southeastern coast becomes a makeshift nursery for the whales as the warm waters make for a comfortable birthing place.

With fewer than 350 North Atlantic Right Whales left -- and fewer than 100 breeding females -- the calves are a welcomed sight. Population statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that the number of new calves born in recent years has been below average. 

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife division reports the four new additions make a total of nine total calves they're tracking. They posted photos of the four on Wednesday, with each calf seemingly posing with its mother.

Wildlife officials said mothers Aphrodite, War and Viola have had multiple offspring. Georgia DNR is also celebrating first-time mom Pilgrim. The 10-year-old whale has given birth to its first known calf, according to the agency. 

To note, female whales reach reproductive maturity at age 10, making Pilgrim a young mom blessed with offspring.

To help protect the species, NOAA Fisheries is trying to further restrict the speed and spatial boundaries of where the whales travel. If passed, boaters may have to stay even further away and be cautious of the babies in the water.

For more information about Georgia's conservation efforts, click here.

Before You Leave, Check This Out