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Jessica Crance, a research biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was able to use acoustic equipment to find and photograph two of the extremely endangered whales and obtain a biopsy sample from one. (NOAA Fisheries via AP)

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Federal researchers studying critically endangered North Pacific right whales sometimes go years without finding their subjects. Over the weekend they got lucky.

By By DAN JOLING, Associated Press August 13, 2017