The reason humpbacks make what can be over a 6,000 mile round trip to warmer waters a little closer to the equator, is to give birth and/or mate. Pregnant females will calve and stay with their young for up to a year. In the calving grounds whilst moms fast they provide their calves with thick, protein and fat rich milk, encouraging them to build up their strength for the epic journey they will have to undertake within weeks of being born. Whilst in Hawaiian and Mexican waters mothers will protect their young by keeping them very close and teaching them the basics of whale survival, lessons they will need to learn quickly, for the journey north can be a treacherous one. Moms and calves will travel north together, with the young whales learning along the way. The following winter, still together they will make the journey south one last time, before parting to continue on their separate ways. You can see more in the Maui gallery.
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