On Friday (December 24th), bystanders in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina were left in awe as a whale put on a Christmas Eve performance.
ABC News took to Twitter to share the exciting video. “This whale spotted off the coast of South Carolina on Christmas Eve put on quite a show for beachgoers.”
The latest whale sighting comes just a little over two weeks after fishermen were able to have an unforgettable encounter with a critically endangered North Atlantic right whale named Slalom. According to The State, Slalom surfaced between two boats with her calf.
One of the captains of the charter boats, Brian Hawkins, recorded the breathtaking experience, stating that the sound of the whale’s breathing was mesmerizing. He also stated that he was about six miles offshore from South Carolina’s Folly Beach when the encounter occurred.
Hawkins also told the media outlet that he has more than 25 years of experience fishing and exploring waters near Charleston. But while he has spotted right whales, it has always been at a distance. And always just a single whale.
Here Are More Details About Right Whale Slalom
According to the New England Aquarium, researchers recently spotted Slalom as she swam with her latest offspring. She is a 39-year-old North Atlantic right whale. She previously gave birth to five calves. This it the first time she has given birth in 11 years.
The Aquarium revealed that during the past 39 years, Slalom has endured a lot. She lived through a total of six fishing gear entanglements. Her offspring and even grandchildren have also dealt with nearly 20 entanglements plus two-vessel strikes. One of her calves, Mogul, swam to Iceland on year and to France, as well as Newfoundland, the next year. She has at least four grand-offsprings from her daughter, Insignia. Unfortunately, two of the four likely died within the first year or two of their lives.
Speaking about the whale’s endurance, Philip Hamilton, Senior Scientist with the Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute in Florida, stated, “Slalom and her family are poster children for the issues that right whales face, but sadly, every family has such stories of harm done at the hands of humans.”
The Aquarium also revealed the Slalom has six siblings. This includes her brother, Shackleton, who notably swam more than 100 miles up the Delaware River when he was 11 months old. The youngest sister of the whale, Pilgrim, was born in or around Cap Cod Bay in January 2013. Hamilton also spoke about her mother, Wart. “[She] has the distinction of being the only known right whale to give birth in northern waters in the winter.”
Hamilton went on to add that he and his team hope this calf survives the many perils that right whales face on a daily basis and develops an interesting story of its own.