Scientists Watch Whale's Birth Near Fla. Navy Training Range

"Scientists surveying the area near a planned Navy training range said Tuesday they witnessed an endangered right whale giving birth off the Northeast Florida coast.

It was only the second time a right whale's birth has been seen and studied, and it gave researchers new insights into the lives of some of the world's most endangered mammals. It also gave hope to environmental groups that sued to stop the Navy's plans.

Amazed researchers in a small plane lingered for nearly a half-hour Saturday as a whale that scientists knew as Derecha churned the ocean surface east of Vilano Beach and dove underwater, replaced at the surface minutes later by her newborn."

Steve Patterson reports for the Jacksonville, Florida Times-Union March 23, 2010.

Source: Florida Times-Union, 03/26/2010