Right whales may be giving birth off SC coast

File Courtesy: EcoHealth Alliance, NOAA Permit #594-1759-00

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Endangered whales appear to be giving birth off South Carolina's shoreline.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports that two mother and calf pairs have been spotted in waters off the state's coast.

Officials say the sightings support researchers' idea that whales are giving birth near South Carolina, north of the waters off the Florida coast where they have long been thought to calve.

Experts estimate as few as 400 North Atlantic right whales still exist. The whales can grow up to 55 feet long and weigh up to 70 tons.

The Charleston-based survey team from Sea to Shore Alliance tracks the whales, in part so ships know when they are nearby.