2 Blue Whales Captured on Video by Drone Near Antartica

February 3, 2016 7:06 pm Last Updated: February 3, 2016 8:27 pm

A video has surfaced showing two blue whales—a mother and calf—swimming in the Southern Ocean by Antarctica.

The footage was captured by a drone operated by animal conservation group Sea Shepherd, according to the Australia Broadcasting Corporation.

“Filming this endangered blue whale and her calf with a drone was unbelievable,” the drone’s pilot, Gavin Garrison, said in a statement.

“Spotting a blue whale from the deck of the Steve Irwin is a thrill, but being able to film the biggest animals on the planet from the air is truly awe-inspiring.”

Michael L. Baird
Michael L. Baird

It’s unclear how large these two whales are, but the animals are the largest animals known to have ever live. They have a maximum length of up to 100 feet and can weigh upward of 200 tons.

Sid Chakravarty, the captain of the Sea Shepherd boat “Steve Irwin,” reacted to the whales: “To be on the front-lines of marine conservation is akin to being on a pendulum that swings between contrasting emotions,” according to the Express.

(NOAA Fisheries)
(NOAA Fisheries)

“On one hand it means bearing witness to the exploding harpoons of the whalers, but on days like today, it means watching nature and beauty in motion.”

At one point, blue whales were hunted to the brink of extinction. They’re no longer commercially hunted, but today’s population is a fraction of the numbers seen in the early 20th century.

Sklmsta/Wikimedia Commons
Sklmsta/Wikimedia Commons

Blue whales have been declared as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List.