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Endangered Whales Being Struck By Boats Off Cape Cod

BOSTON (CBS) - Wildlife officials say whales are being struck by boats. You can see a giant gash on top of one of the endangered female whales. Marine experts say she was struck by a propeller along the lower Cape Cod Bay by a recreational boater.

Right Whale
Injured Right Whale off Mass. coast. (Photo Credit: Center for Coastal Studies)

"The whale came up and there was a propeller injury to the head the whale is alive and feeding but time will tell if the whale will survive that," Deputy Director at Massachusetts of Marine Fisheries Daniel McKiernan said.

Environmental Police boats are on scene telling boaters to be careful and stay clear of any whales. "Proceed slowly, don't approach it within 500 yards and post a look out because they are hard to see," McKiernan said.

The whales are typically gone by May. Officials say they're sticking around for the abundance of plankton still in the area thanks to the historic winter. "It appears they are lingering, which is dangerous because of increase boating, shipping and fishing activities," McKiernan said.

The Northern Right Whale is an endangered species and there are only 522 left on the planet. "It is the most endangered large whales," McKiernan said.

Wildlife officials say they will continue to monitor those endangered whales and they expect they will depart the Cape Cod Bay by next week.


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