Moment a friendly humpback surfaces near whale-watchers' boats 

Moment a friendly humpback surfaces near whale-watchers' boats 
Moment a friendly humpback surfaces near whale-watchers' boats 

Humpback whales live in oceans around the world. They travel incredible distances every year and have one of the longest migrations of any mammal on the planet.

Some populations swim 5,000 miles from tropical breeding grounds to colder, plentiful feeding grounds - this is why it is difficult to estimate population size, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Of the 14 distinct populations, 12 are estimated to number more than 2,000 humpback whales each and two are estimated to number fewer than 2,000.

Some populations (such as those off eastern and western Australia) are believed to number in excess of 20,000 animals—a remarkable recovery given that the same populations were almost eradicated by whaling almost sixty years ago.

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By contrast, the smallest known population is one which inhabits the Arabian Sea year-round, and may number as few as 80

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