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David Nickerson/Telegraph-Journal
Delilah, a right whale killed off the coast of Grand Manan 13 years ago, is displayed at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John.

Bay of Fundy right whale located off North Carolina
Skeleton of whale's other is on display at New Brunswick Museum

BY MAC TRUEMAN
Telegraph-Journal
January 13/05

    Allen Morse has never forgotten the heart-rending sight he and his family came across 13 years ago off Grand Manan.
   Just ahead of their boat, a 30-tonne Olit whale was thrashing the water in death throes, the victim of a suspected ship strike.
   As the mammoth of the deep fell ti l and floated snout-up like a dead' d log, the men on the boat watched small calf slowly swim away.
   "I never thought I'd ever hear tell fit again," Mr. Morse said of the calf, which biologists determined from the men's photographs was less than eight months old.
   But now he has.
   And marine biologists are quietly celebrating a new chapter in the tragic itory of Delilah, whose 40-foot skele hangs from the ceiling of the New Brunswick Museum.
   Calvin, her calf that defied expecations of biologists at the New England Aquarium by surviving, and then by turning out to be female, has come out with a third surprise.
   Calvin showed up last month off the tip of Johnny Mercer Pier, in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., with her own newly born calf.
   "Is that right," Mr. Morse reacted.
   While spectators gathered on a nearby beach, a U.S. Coast Guard crew, responding to a mistaken report that the whale was entangled in fishing gear, took the photographs with which aquarium staff have confirmed Calvin's identification.
   The photograph shows the pattern of callosities (white skin markings) that are unique to each right whale.
   The location is only 400 kilometres north of the area where right whales normally winter, in a region that stretches from Savannah, Ga., to Cape Canaveral, Fla.
   "We were excited," said Moira Brown, the Canadian senior scientist at the aquarium, located in Boston.
   "It's a whale we have followed for a long time."
   Tony LaCasse, the aquarium's director of communications, said the real celebration will be if and when the mother-child pair return to the Bay of Fundy in August.
   "It's a statement about the triumph of life."
   But Dr. Brown believes that triumph may still be a long way away.
   "When these mothers and calves leave Florida, they're swimming up through a very urban ocean which has got shipping traffic and pollution and fishing gear. They're running the gauntlet, every single one of them. And Calvin's no different."
   But if Calvin and her calf make it to the Bay of Fundy, their summer here will be safer than what Delilah faced in 1992.
   The risk to right whales of being struck by a ship in the Bay of Fundy was reduced by more than 95 per cent when commercial shipping lanes were moved out of the whales' feeding area in 2003, Mr. LaCasse said.
   Calvin's calf represents the seventh or eighth right whale born on the east coast so far this winter, and Dr. Brown is hoping this is a sign of a plentiful calving season for this extremely endangered species.
   There are only 300 right whales in the world, and most of them summer off Grand Manan.
   "It looks like another aboveaverage year, but it will be the end of March before we know that for sure," she said.

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