Endangered Right Whale Spotted In Gulf Of Mexico Off Florida

In a 2008 file photo, a North Atlantic right whale peers up from the water as another whale passes behind in Cape Cod Bay near Provincetown, Mass. (Photo: Stephan Savoia/AP)

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Scientists say a North Atlantic right whale has made another appearance in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

The Naples Daily News reports that charter boat Capt. Robert Holzinger was fishing with customers about 3 miles from Naples on Monday when they spotted the endangered whale.

Mote Marine Laboratory expert Gretchen Lovewell says it appears to be the same juvenile right whale spotted near Panama City Beach on Jan. 15. The last right whale spotted in the Gulf was in 2006.

Female right whales travel south from the coasts of Canada and New England to give birth during the winter, but they normally stay in the Atlantic Ocean.

Scientists estimate about 360 right whales are left in the wild. A third of deaths are caused by boating collisions or entanglement in fishing nets.