SEBASTIAN INLET, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - It was an amazing site in southern Brevard County on Monday -- a mother whale and its calf lingered at Sebastian Inlet for most of the day. Florida Fish and Wildlife officials are working to protect the two whales until they decide to swim back out to sea.
Dozens of people spent the afternoon watching the whales. Officials had a boat in the inlet at night to keep boaters away from the mother, until they go back out to sea. The 45-foot endangered North Atlantic right whale had an stayed close to the 18-foot calf. Folks first saw them before 10 a.m. on Monday morning, and the duo stayed all day long.
Debbie Bula videotaped the whales. “When i was shooting the video, the way it laid across the top, it reminded me of a huge eel. I was thinking is this the loch ness monster or something like that?”
Four boats from Florida Fish and Wildlife set up a perimeter to protect the whales from boats, and a marine biologist observed them from an airplane above. Fish and Wildlife Officer Leonard Salberg says this is not a common sight. “Very unusual. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a whale come into the inlet, this type of whale, a right whale, come into an inlet.”
Marine biologists say the mother whale is healthy and this is her first calf. They know this whale as Clipper.
Salberg said, “Clipper yes, because one of its fins has been clipped. How it was clipped we don’t know, but it is a marked whale that they do follow.”
Dozens of people took photos of the whales coming up for air in the inlet waters. Fish and Wildlife officials say they’ll be back on the scene Tuesday morning to see if the whales went back out to sea or if this whale watch will enter a second day.