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North Atlantic right whale calf presumed dead while adult carcass found off N.S. coast

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A fifth North Atlantic right whale calf of the season is presumed dead while the body of an adult whale was found off the coast of Nova Scotia, according to an environmental organization.

In a social media post, Oceana said the whale Skittle has been seen twice without her baby “during a time when the calf…still depends heavily on her mother for survival.”

Due to this absence, the calf is now presumed dead.

“This is the fifth baby this calving season to be presumed dead, with four missing and one killed by a ship strike,” the post reads. “Every new calf is critical to the recovery of this critically endangered species.”

In a separate news release, Oceana said the remains of an adult North Atlantic right whale were found roughly 140 kilometres off the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia. The cause of death has not been determined.

“The gruesome discovery of this latest North Atlantic right whale is another devastating loss to the species," said Kim Elmslie, campaign director with Oceana Canada, in the release.

Last week, the whale Shelagh was spotted entangled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In a previous interview with CTV News Atlantic, Elmslie said one study found even minor entanglements can limit a female whale’s ability to calve.

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