HUTCHINSON ISLAND, Fla. — Residents and visitors on Florida's Treasure Coast spotted one of the rarest whales in the world this week.
A visitor said he was staying at the Turtle Reef Club near Jensen Beach when he spotted a right whale with its calf just off the coast.
He said he decided to grab his drone, recording some spectacular video that few people ever have a chance to witness.
North Atlantic right whales have been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 1970, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Give moving right whales space! 500 yards is law. New moms are bonding w/calves. Last sighting a new pair-south of Hutchinson Island, FL. Call 877-WHALE-HELP if you see a right whale/need to report injured marine mammal. #rightwhale pic.twitter.com/TpfdAnZBbU— NOAA Fish Southeast (@NOAAFisheriesSE) January 5, 2023
Latest estimates suggest there are fewer than 350 right whales remaining, with fewer than 100 breeding females.
Commercial whalers hunted North Atlantic right whales to the brink of extinction by the early 1890s.
NOAA tweeted Thursday that right whales are currently on the move along the east coast, heading south for the winter where they give birth.
They advise everyone to give them 500 yards of space.
Also, if you see a right whale in trouble, continue to give the animal space and contact trained responders at 877-WHALE-HELP. If it is safe, take photos and video to share with responders.
This story was originally published by WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida with additions from Scripps News.