A 16 metre southern right whale that has enthralled watchers off Sydney’s beaches this week has had a baby.
Experts have confirmed the birth, with the mother and calf spotted off Dee Why Beach on Friday morning.
“We found her at 7.30 this morning and followed her and her calf down to South Curl Curl, before she moved out,” said Shona Lorigan from the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA).
ORRCA tweeted a photo of the family on Friday morning to announce the arrival of the calf: “We now have a big bouncing baby whale!!”
— ORRCA (@ORRCA_Inc) July 17, 2014
Its members had been on whale watch since dawn and had last sighted the southern right in the dying light of Thursday evening a mere 40m off Turimetta Beach.
She is assumed to have given birth to the calf in the flat, calm waters between there and Dee Why.
The mother and calf have since moved off shore and experts are still warning the public to steer clear of the family.
“A protective mother with a calf by her side will charge at people,” an ORRCA spokesperson told AAP.
On Thursday, speculation about the birthing whale drew crowds of onlookers down to Warriewood Beach to catch a glimpse of the mammal just beyond the breakers.
Southern right whales are known for their love of the shallows and can often be seen lolling in the waters just behind the surfline.
There are only about 5000 of the species left in the southern hemisphere.
The mother and newborn are now travelling south around 500m offshore.