Sponsor a Right Whale: Shackleton

Sponsoring a right whale through the New England Aquarium supports the critical research we're doing to protect this endangered species. This holiday season, give a sponsorship! It's a gift that gives back to our blue planet. Today's post introduces one of the whales available for sponsorship: Shackleton

Shackleton the right whale (Catalog #2440) was named after the Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. There's a good reason why: when Shackleton was just a one year-old, he swam up the Delaware River and made it as far north as Camden, NJ!

Shackleton in the Bay of Fundy. Photo: New England Aquarium

His adventure lasted for days, during which he was hit by a tug boat (it did not result in any serious injury). Fear of another vessel strike remained constant, and concerns for his health grew as he swam further upriver, since the makeup of the water was becoming more fresh (right whales are made for the salty sea!). The news footage below is from a recording (remember VHS?) from this ordeal:

Luckily, Shackleton found his way back to the Atlantic Ocean, where he faces other sorts of threats. He survived a second vessel strike, which was more significant and left a line of propeller marks on his body. He has also been through at least three different entanglements in fishing gear. Since he's overcome quite a few obstacles, we had to celebrate this year's milestone: Shackleton turned 20 years old!

Healed propeller cuts left substantial scars on Shackleton's body. Photo: New England Aquarium

- Marianna

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