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Orphaned right whale, offspring, appear safe
Expert doesn't believe whale found floating off Grand Manan is related to Calvin

BY MIKE MULLEN
Telegraph-Journal
July 28/06

    BOSTON - Preliminary results of a necropsy performed on the carcass of an Atlantic right whale found floating Monday off Grand Manan suggest it wasn't related to the celebrated orphan Calvin.
    "I don't believe so," Amy Knowleton of the New England Aquarium said Thursday. "Calvin had her first calf a year ago. This animal is probably too small to be her yearling. It was probably born last winter."
   Knowleton was part of a team from the aquarium that carried out the necropsy on Tuesday after a whale-watching tour operator towed the dead whale's carcass to a beach on Campobello Island. Early results, she said, indicate it was struck 13 times on the back, by the propeller blades of a small vessel.
   "The measurement data suggests it was not a large vessel but we are going to do some further analysis to see if we can pin down the estimated size of the vessel involved," she said. "It had been dead for at least a week."
   Discovery of the whale's carcass had raised fears that it might be Calvin's as-yet unnamed calf.
    Calvin took on full celebrity status among Canadian and U.S. biologists last summer when, nearly 13 years after it was orphaned as a toddler, both she and playful calf were spot ted in the Grand Manan Basin.
    Calvin (named before her sex was known) was just eight months old in 1992 when her mother, known as Delilah, died from a suspected ship strike in the bay. Since calves usually stay with their mother for the first 11 or 12 months, nobody at the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station had expected Calvin to survive.
   Later that year, however, Calvin was in the news again when she became entangled in fishing gear.
   The skeletal remains of Delilah, whose carcass washed up on Grand Manan, is part of the permanent collection at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John.

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