Severely injured entangled whale spotted off North Carolina's coast

Posted at 2:23 PM, Jan 13, 2023

An entangled whale spotted off the coast of North Carolina is expected to die from its injuries.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says an aerial survey team from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium spotted the North Atlantic right whale on Jan. 8.

The New England Aquarium, which tracks and catalogs North Atlantic Right Whales, identified this whale as #4904, a 4-year-old female. She was previously spotted in May 2022 in Massachusetts Bay and was not entangled at the time, according to NOAA.

The whale now has a line that wraps several times around her mouth and tail, NOAA states. The agency adds that #4904 also has numerous wounds across her body and whale lice on her head.

NOAA Fisheries will reportedly be efforting another search for the whale to determine if they can at least help ease the entanglement.

The North Atlantic right whale is considered an endangered species. NOAA says it's estimated that there are only 70 reproductively active females remaining.