An injured right whale, bearing gashes along its body where it had been mauled by a boat propeller, was spotted off the coast near Beaufort last week.
The marine mammal was photographed by an aerial survey crew Jan. 20 about 15 miles southeast of St. Helena Sound.
Dianna Schulte, a survey team leader with EcoHealth Alliance, said severely injured or dying animals often thrash in the water.
This one, though, was swimming offshore and was not behaving unusually.
"Because it was acting normally, that is a good sign," Schulte said.