Whale Watching in the Dominican Republic

The DR offers visitors a unique experience to come up close and personal with these mystical animals.

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    Humpback whales were first protected as endangered animals in 1966. Currently, it is believed 30,000 to 40,000 humpback whales are left or about 30 percent of their original population.
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    Humpback whales can dive for up to 30 minutes, but usually last only up to 15 minutes. Humpbacks can dive to a depth of 500-700 feet (150-210 m).
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    Humpback whales breathe voluntarily, unlike human beings. Since they have to remember to breathe, researchers believe humpback whales sleep by shutting off half of their brain at a time.
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    The female humpback whale typically breeds every two or three years.
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    Humpback whales live in oceans across the globe and can be seen in shallow water. Generally, these whales live and travel together in pods upwards of 20,000 whales.
    2009 Transparentsea
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    The humpback whale social structure is loose-knit. Usually, individuals live alone or in transient small groups that come together and break up over the course of a few hours.
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    A humpback whale blows air from its blowhole as it surfaces in the waters. A pro-whaling majority could lead to the scrapping of long-standing conservation and welfare programmes, though not a return to full-scale commercial whaling. 
    2006 Getty Images
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    A pro-whaling majority could lead to the scrapping of long-standing conservation and welfare programmes, though not a return to full-scale commercial whaling. 
    2006 Getty Images
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    The top of the head and lower jaw have rounded, bump-like knobs, each containing at least one stiff hair. The purpose of these hairs is not known, though they may allow the whale to detect movement in nearby waters.
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    There are at least 80,000 humpback whales worldwide, with 18,000-20,000 in the North Pacific, about 12,000 in the North Atlantic, and over 50,000 in the Southern Hemisphere, down from a pre-whaling population of 125,000
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    Today, individuals are vulnerable to collisions with ships, entanglement in fishing gear, and noise pollution. Like other cetaceans, humpbacks can be injured by excessive noise. In the 19th century, two humpback whales were found dead near sites of repeated oceanic sub-bottom blasting, with traumatic injuries and fractures in the ears.
    2009 Getty Images
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    Humpback whales are generally curious about objects in their environment. Some individuals, referred to as "friendlies", approach whale-watching boats closely, often staying under or near the boat for many minutes.
    2007 Getty Images
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