A North Atlantic right whale that gave birth while entangled in rope was spotted with her calf in the waters off Cape Cod over the weekend, according to the Provincetown-based Center for Coastal Studies. Researchers have been trying for more than a year to untangle the 17-year-old whale that they’ve named Snow Cone.
In March of 2021, the center’s Marine Animal Entanglement Response team removed 300 feet of rope when Snow Cone was seen near Plymouth. More rope was cut away last May by the Campobello Whale Rescue Team that spotted Snow Cone off the coast of New Brunswick, Canada, but she continues to carry “a length of rope embedded in her jaw,” the center said in a statement Sunday.
Snow Cone went on to make the 1,300-mile migration south to Georgia, where she gave birth in December, the center said. Snow Cone and her calf then made the journey back north where they were seen Saturday and Sunday off the outer Cape by aerial observers from the Center for Coastal Studies. “She didn’t look awful, but she is noticeably skinnier,” Ryan Schosberg, one of the observers, said in the statement.