This Southern Right Whale Was Photographed in 15 Feet of Water off Sydney, Australia

by Owen James Burke

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Many large whales are known to frequent the shallows, but usually they’re taking care of business – either giving birth or brushing away barnacles. This southern right whale was photographed and filmed by Joel Coleman just a few hundred feet off of Freshwater Beach in Sydney, Australia, and seemed to just be curiously hanging around a group of surfers.

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There were a number of surfers in the water who were criticized for coming too close to the whale. Under further review, and according to Coleman and other onlookers, the surfers did their best to paddle away, but the whale “obviously” wanted the attention.

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“When I swam around the tail and back, it didn’t even pay any attention to me but when I was in front of its face, it would slightly wobble its head,” said Coleman, “so I’d move back a bit.”

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