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There are only 450 North Atlantic right whales left—and 17 died in 2017

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There are only some 450 North Atlantic right whales left in the world. About four carcasses on average wash up on North American shores, but last year, 17 died.

Published   |  Photo by AP Photo/Stephan Savoia
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Some of the whales died after being hit by fishing boats or being caught in fishing nets and traps.

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AP Photo/Stephan Savoia

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared it an “unusual mortality event,” and said that if nothing is done, the North Atlantic right whale could be extinct in 20 years.

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The endangered species can reach 48 feet (15 meters) and 150,000 pounds (68 tonnes).

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AP Photo/Stephan Savoia

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