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Body of endangered Right whale calf found near Morehead City

Right whale NOAA.jpeg
(Photo credit: Jay W. Boone)
The lone right whale calf swims underneath the Morehead City port pier. In this photo, the calf is trapped between two oyster-covered pillars under the pier. The tip of its head is visible above the water line and the rest of its body is submerged.

The body of an endangered whale was found in eastern North Carolina over the weekend.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say a male North Atlantic right whale calf was found dead on Saturday near Morehead City.

Response teams recovered the carcass and conducted a necropsy.

This calf was seen alive four days earlier; someone reported to the Southeast Regional Stranding Network that a whale calf was swimming close to shore in the Beaufort Inlet.

An aerial survey team from Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute responded and found the calf. They widened the search, hoping to find the calf’s mother, but no other right whales were found in the area.

Zach Swain, NOAA Right Whale Biologist, said it is suspected to be the same whale that a local high school coach spotted and caught on video recently.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.