Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Kids blogs
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
WDC's Ed Fox, Chris Butler-Stroud and Carla Boreham take a message from the ocean to parliament

Taking a message from the ocean to parliament

It's a sad fact that whales and dolphins don't vote in human elections, but I...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Tokitae in captivity

Talking to TUI – will they stop supporting whale and dolphin captivity?

Last Thursday I travelled to Berlin for a long-anticipated meeting with TUI senior executives. I...

Earth Day Q&A with Waipapa Bay Wines’ marketing director, Fran Draper

We've been partnered with Waipapa Bay Wines since 2019 so for this year's Earth Day,...

Right Whale Obituary Series: Stumpy

In the last month, Cape Cod observed an unprecedented occurrence: a female North Atlantic right whale named Wart and her newborn calf swimming in the chilly waters of the bay. Mothers typically give birth off the Southeastern coast of the US, where warmer waters make the first few months of life easier on a newborn whale. So far, Wart and calf seem to be healthy and doing fine. While we are glad to see one of the new calves this season and wishing them well, as part of our obituary series we also wanted to reflect on a mother who was not so fortunate on this day in 2004.

Stumpy,the North Atlantic Right Whale

1981-2004

Stumpy, 29, a pregnant North Atlantic right whale was killed off the North Carolina coast on February 7th, 2004 when she was hit by a large passing vessel. Stumpy was pregnant with a son who was only weeks from being born. Her surviving family is unknown. She was officially named Stumpy in 1981 by the New England Aq uarium because her right fluke is missing a chunk (she’s also referred to by her catalog number 1004). The trauma to her fluke was also believed to be the result of a prior vessel strike she had bravely and successfully survived earlier in her life.

Stumpy enjoyed spending her winters in Georgia and occasionally in Florida where she and other right whales would pair up and socialize. She enjoyed traveling and spent time in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada which was her favorite place. In fact she was sighted there over forty times!

Stumpy is survived by four children and several grandchildren. Her first calf, Phoenix (1705), was born in 1987 and survived a fishing gear entanglement when she was ten years old. Phoenix also gave birth to her first calf in 1996 who was later named Smoke (2605).

“In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting your support of the continuation of the NA Right Whale Ship Strike Speed rule to prevent these tragic incidents from continuing.Please help and prevent ship strikes like the one which took the life of the courageous Stumpy and her son, who never had the chance to know, or travel with his mom.

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.