- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

BUZZARDS BAY, Massachusetts (AP) - Researchers say endangered right whales have returned to Cape Cod Bay, marking the start of the animals’ 2016 feeding season off of New England.

North Atlantic right whales are among the world’s rarest marine mammals. They congregate in Cape Cod Bay every year to feed on zooplankton.

The Center for Coastal Studies says an aerial survey team observed nine of the whales in the bay on Feb. 21. The center says about half of the total population of 526 right whales have been seen in the bay every year in recent years.

The center reminds boaters, swimmers and light aircraft pilots that it’s illegal to go within 1,500 feet of the whales without a federal research permit.

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