1st whales of season spotted off coast

FWC photo
FWC photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite the warmer temperatures, right whales are being spotted in their winter calving grounds by wildlife officials.

The first sighting occurred off the coast of Ponte Vedra Beach.

"Two days ago, our colleagues with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission aerial survey team discovered two mother/calf pairs," said Joy Hampp of the Marineland Right Whale team.

One of the moms was documented a calf in the area a dozen years ago and a juvenile in 2006.

Humpbacks whales have also have made an appearance off the coast of Northeast Florida. One was photographed off the coast of Flagler Beach.

The Georgia aerial survey team spotted an injured whale near Jekyll Island over the weekend. The whale has entanglement wounds and is missing part of her right lip. 

To report a sighting, call the right whale hotline 888-979-4253 (1888-97-WHALE).