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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the New England Aquarium, the Conservation Law Foundation, and National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry caught the footage with Steve De Neef using a drone.
The whales are part of a “SAG,” a surface active group. SAGs are great for researchers since they “are known to involve close interactions between groups of right whales, that may include playful, reproductive, and vocal behavior,” a press release about the trip said.
“While flying drones to measure their body condition, researchers saw what appeared to be whales hugging with their flippers, technically described as ‘belly to belly’ perhaps showing affection and attempts at mating,” the release added about the clip.
Researchers are hoping to bring attention to the whales’ plight with the footage.
North Atlantic Right Whales can’t afford many more deaths. In order to keep them from going extinct, we need to demand more protection for them! Sign this petition to demand that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) act immediately to prevent any more right whales from dying!
Read more about whales in One Green Planet, including the two beluga whales brought to a sanctuary; military sonar exercise linked to beached whales; hypersonic weapons testing affecting killer whales; over 100 beached whales saved by rescuers; whales, dolphins, and porpoises face unprecedented risk of extinction; and humpback whale trapped in fishing gear.
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