Whale of a time in Argentina

This stand-up paddleboarder probably experienced more than the usual sporting thrills when he came close to two southern right whales in Nuevo Gulf, off the coast of Puerto Madryn in the Chubut province of Argentina on Tuesday.

Known to be calm and curious, the southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) is also playful around humans, and sometimes investigates boats and other objects in the water by nudging them.

One of the largest species of whale, it can grow up to 17m in length and weigh up to 55,000kg. It is also the most abundant of the world's three species of right whale. Unlike the North Atlantic and North Pacific right whales (both endangered), it has managed to rebound from centuries of commercial whaling.

A third of all southern right whales in the world use the protected bays of the Valdes Peninsula in Argentina to mate and give birth between the months of May and December, offering incredible sightings to visitors.


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