Nile is a
very large, very beautiful female whale just coming into the prime
of her life. Her friendly, curious personality makes her
one of the favorites among whale watchers. She has been
seen around the feeding grounds here in New England every year
since her birth in 1987.
was born in the warm waters of the Caribbean, probably at Mars's
(Nile's mother) favorite birthing place (most likely a quiet,
secluded area off the coast of Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic).
There she grew rapidly by drinking mother's fat-rich milk.
In the summer of 1987 everyone marvelled at Mars's new calf.
Nile learned everything she needed to survive in that one
summer. Later that winter she would separate from her mother
and explore her world, perhaps in the company of other young whales.
Nile did very
well for herself through the years. However, if you look closely
at the base of her tail, you will notice white scars. At
some point in her life she became entangled in some fishing gear.
Luckily, she survived this encounter. At eleven years
of age, in 1998, Nile showed off her beautiful new baby girl, a
calf later named Amazon. This is the first known grandcalf
of Mars (See Mars's Family Tree). In 2000, she showed up with
another calf, which was called Aswan (based on the markings that
can be compared to a dam and a link to Nile's name).
is not the only member of the Mars family who survived an entanglement.
In the summer of 1998 Putter, Nile's younger half-brother,
was successfully disentangled by a team from the Center for Coastal
Studies. Amazon too became entangled sometime after she
left her mom. Luck must run in the family because she survived
easy to see how Nile got her name. If you look at the upper
left fluke you can see what looks like a black upside down "Nile
River" flowing through a small patch of white. She also
has a fairly unique dorsal fin. It is a very hooked shape
with a white, crescent moon-shaped patch on the right side, just
below the fin.