Whale seen propping up her calf possibly struck by ship near Hawaii. ‘Not looking good’

An injured humpback whale calf spotted being supported on the surface by its mother may have been hit by a ship, experts reported.

The University of Hawaii estimated the nearly 17-foot-long calf is 34 days old, Hawaii News Now reported. The calf’s tail, or flukes, appear to be injured.

“It’s impossible to say exactly what caused this injury,” Pacific Whale Foundation chief research scientist Jens Currie told KHON.

But experts with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suspect a ship struck the calf.

An NOAA aerial video posted by Maui Now shows the whale’s mother supporting it on the surface.

As of Friday, Feb. 23, the mother and calf were a few hundred yards off Maʻalaea Bay on Maui, where researchers are monitoring the situation, according to the publication.

It’s not possible for animal rescuers to treat the whale calf, which must surface several times an hour to breathe.

“It’s not looking good,” Currie told KHON. “But we remain optimistic and nobody can really say for sure what caused it and what the prognosis is for that individual.”

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Pacific Whale Foundation, and state Department of Land and Natural Resources reminded boaters and mariners to reduce speeds when near whales, HawaiiNewsNow reported.

Sightings of the injured calf can be reported to the NOAA Marine Wildlife Hotline at 1-888-256-9840.

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