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Surfers and Whales Frolic

CHEN:
A rare sight in Australia for some local surfers. They got an up close look at a mother and calf whale. Here’s a look.

STORY:
Sydney residents enjoyed a rare spectacle yesterday when a mother Southern Right Whale and her calf swam into a local city beach. Surfers, keen to get close to the animals, swam around the mother and her child, who appeared not to mind their company.

[Local Surfer]:
“They just paddled over and got off their boards and they were swimming with them.”

John Dengate the director of public affairs with the Department of Environment and Climate Change says swimming with a mother and calf can be dangerous if the mother becomes stressed.

[John Dengate, Department of Environment]:
“If you get too close, not only is it bad to disturb her but she may well flatten you to smithereens, even in the water.”

Southern Right Whales can grow up to 18 metres long and are listed as a vulnerable species.

They get their name from whalers who considered them to be the ‘right’ whales to hunt, because they were slow swimmers, and would float on the surface when killed.

The whales came to within 50 meters of Bondi beach.