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Highly Endangered Right Whale Spotted Off Canada Coast

An endangered North Pacific right whale off the coast of British Columbia, spotted there for the first time in 61 years. There are only about 500 of these whales left.
An endangered North Pacific right whale off the coast of British Columbia, spotted there for the first time in 61 years. There are only about 500 of these whales left. (Image credit: DFO Cetacean Research Program)

An elusive right whale has been spotted off the coast of British Columbia in Canada.

This is the second North Pacific right whale spotted in the area since June, an astonishing fact given that the last sighting before that was in 1951, when whalers killed one of the majestic creatures. The most recent sighting occurred Oct. 25 near the Juan de Fuca Strait near Victoria. 

Eubalaena japonica, also known as North Pacific right whales, are incredibly endangered, with only 50 thought to live in the waters of the region. Another 200 or so are thought to migrate to the area around Japan for the summer, but are considered a distinct population, GrindTV reported.

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Tia Ghose
Tia has interned at Science News, Wired.com, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz.