About the Cause and Exhibit

About the Right Whale Cause

Everything on our planet is connected and the future of right whales depends on the health of our ocean.

Today only about 500 North Atlantic right whales exist, making the species one of the most endangered whales. Despite nine decades of international protection, the fate of these animals remains precarious and hinges on the actions of humans-both negative and positive.

Right Whale Timeline

Name bestowed by whalers because it is the “right” whale to hunt
By the 1920s
Hunted to near extinction
International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling begins
Listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Conservation Act, the precursor to the Endangered Species Act
Researchers estimate about 504 living right whales
To learn more about the North Atlantic right whale, click here »

About Right Whale Quest

Right Whale Quest at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher tells the true story of a right whale mother, Delilah, and her calf, Calvin.

Like human mothers, Delilah cared for her young calf, keeping it close and teaching it the things she knew. Tragically, while Delilah and her calf migrated to their feeding grounds in the Bay of Fundy, a ship struck Delilah and killed her. Against the odds, the 8-month-old calf survived.

Researchers named the calf Calvin, after a feisty comic strip character. Through genetic testing, scientists determined Calvin to be a female, yet the name stuck.

Like many right whales, Calvin faced additional challenges in her life. She even survived entanglement with fishing gear. Yet, Calvin grew to be a healthy adult right whale.

She was spotted with her first calf in December 2004 off the North Carolina coast, near Wrightsville Beach (not too far from the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher). Years later researchers named the baby Hobbes, again after the comic strip. Calvin appeared in the same location again almost four years to the day with a second young calf in December 2008.

About the Aquarium

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher invites visitors to explore the waters of the Cape Fear River, from freshwater streams and swamps, to coastal habitats, reefs and the open ocean.

Meet a loggerhead sea turtle. Talk to a diver swimming with sharks and rays. Come face-to-face with an alligator. Watch jellies pulse through the water. Climb and play on Adventure Reef. Touch a sea star, horse shoe crab and even a live shark!

The Aquarium’s newest exhibits, Right Whale Quest and Dolphin Discovery, use technology, animatronics and fun to tell the true stories of right whales, Calvin and Delilah, and a bottlenose dolphin, Holly.

Free daily programs include dive shows, feedings, animal encounters. Explore more with behind-the-scenes tours, outdoor adventures, camps and more.

Open 362 days a year, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information: ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher