SANIBEL, Fla. - The refreshing waters of Sanibel are enticing to nearly everyone and everything. But there is a much larger member of the animal kingdom that is hanging out near the coast.
Last month, a whale was beached on Sanibel Island. Frequent tourist Mark Voto snapped incredible photos of volunteers pushing the whale back into the water. The Staten Island businessman was traveling with his wife and friends on the island when they spotted the rescue efforts.
"I think it was really kind of amazement, mixed with curiosity and sadness," said Voto.
Right Whale Calving season begins this time of year and continues until mid-April. Pregnant females will move into shallower, warmer waters to give birth.
But the circle of life has it's dangers for the mothers and babies. Aside from beaching, the marine mammals are often entangled in fisheries and struck by boats. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, more than half of all photo-cataloged Right Whales have scars from human interaction. Voto says this whale had similar wounds.
"We're all kind curious and hopeful that he's gonna be ok," said Voto.
While you enjoy the perks of winter near the water keep the whales in mind.
Typically Right Whales are spotted in Northeastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Some estimates put less than 350 Right Whales in the north Atlantic Ocean.