A Whale of a Festival: A Puerto Rican Celebration of Humpbacks

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Fox News Latino and Puerto Rican newspaper Primerahora report on the humpback whale festival—Festival de la Ballena Jorobada—held this weekend in Rincón, Puerto Rico, to raise awareness about the species, which is threatened with extinction and is often seen by people off the coasts of the Caribbean island. The festival included arts and crafts displays with around 80 artisans and traditional music.According to Primerahora, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources set up a booth to educate the public about whales.

Marine mammal experts say that the whales prefer the warm and calm waters off the coast of Rincón to give birth to their offspring, and because of this, the town has been called the cradle of the humpback whale [Cuna de las Ballenas Jorobadas].

The annual festival has been held for the past 11 years at the town’s lighthouse because that is the spot from which the huge ocean mammals may best be seen. As Fox News Latino writes, although it has always been a common thing to see humpback whales in the area, since Rincon Mayor Carlos Lopez Bonilla began organizing the festival, sightings have increased.

The whales abound in the chill waters off the coasts of Ireland, Greenland and Canada. Some 80 percent of them migrate between November and April to the warm waters of the Caribbean to mate and give birth to their young. Calculations are that 10 percent of the whales that migrate to tropical waters come to the vicinity of Puerto Rico, mostly off the island’s western and northwestern coasts.

For full article (in English), see http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2014/03/31/puerto-rico-holds-whale-festival-to-raise-awareness-about-species/

For full article (in Spanish), see http://www.primerahora.com/noticias/puerto-rico/nota/regresaelfestivaldelaballenajorobadaenrincon-997001/

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