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      Right whales may be giving birth off SC coast

      The endangered North Atlantic right whales appear to be giving birth off South Carolina's shoreline.
      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.

      (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)