Scientists from the US Environmental Protection Agency NOAA equipped whales with transmitters using a drone. These transmitters, which attach to the animals with suction cups and provide important data for research, would actually be attached to the whales from a boat at close range, NOAA scientists wrote in the specialist journal “Royal Society Open Science”. But that can disturb the animals, put people in danger and is often unsuccessful.

Now the researchers tried it with blue whales and fin whales with drones. The scientists wrote that 21 of 29 attempts were successful. The drones took an average of 2.45 minutes to attach the transmitter and covered an average of 490 meters.