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Entries in Whale (4)

Saturday
Dec082012

Dead Whale on Malibu Beach Stinking Up Celeb Homes

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles County Officials say they are planning how to dispose of a decomposing whale at a Malibu, Calif., beach as soon as the low tide begins around Dec. 10. The odoriferous carcass is within a mile radius from the mansions of Barbara Streisand, Bob Dylan, and other celebrities.

The young fin whale drifted ashore between Paradise Cove and Point Dume on Monday Dec. 5 officials said, and had been rotting ever since. The whale is around 35 feet long, and was gutted by California State Wildlife.

Los Angeles County officials said that its body was emaciated with the tail intact. They also said that Los Angeles County lifeguards attempted to pull the 40,000-pound carcass out to sea at high tide but were unsuccessful.

“Part of the problem is that the whale is badly decomposed and towing it out is impossible because it will break up,” Brian Riley, inspector at LA Country Fire Department, told ABCNews.com.

“The county lifeguards have tried to handle the whale but it is really heavy and too wedged and embedded in the sand,” Craig Sap, spokesperson from California State Parks, told ABCNews.com.

“We also cannot get any solid equipment in because the low tide is not in yet. The low tide starts around December 10 so we can start planning after that,” he said.

Riley said nothing can be done to mitigate the odor from the decomposing whale.

Many agencies have been collaborating in handling the crisis of the decomposing whale. “The County of Los Angeles Lifeguards, the LA County Fire Department, the City of Malibu, and State Parks and Recreations are all consolidating their resources to assist in the matter,” said Sap.

“Dealing with the decomposing whale has been a collaborative effort. Because the whale is on state land many departments are involved,” said Riley.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul062012

Alaska Aquarium Cares for Rescued Baby Beluga Whale

File photo. Hemera/Thinkstock(SEWARD, Alaska) -- The first rescued baby beluga whale in U.S. history is being cared for in an Alaska aquarium.

The whale, believed to have been separated from its mother in a storm, was found near South Naknek in Alaska’s Bristol Bay on June 18. The calf was just two to three days old.

Beluga specialists from across the country have arrived in Alaska to help the Alaska Sealife Center with the whale’s extensive care. Three full-time staff are with the calf at all times, administering tube feedings eight to 10 times a day.

The vulnerability of the calf’s immune system is their main concern.

“The state of his immune system is not where I would like it to be,” said veterinarian Dr. Carrie Goertz. “He will be at risk for infection for months until his own immune system starts kicking into gear because he never received milk from his mother.”

Specialists from Atlanta, Chicago and San Diego have provided invaluable knowledge.

“We don’t have any other stranded belugas to compare it to,” said Brett Long, husbandry director at Alaska Sealife Center. “We’re relying on help from other beluga holders and their decades of experience. That’s what’s driving our successes right now: collaborating with others.”

Specialists from San Diego, in particular, have some familiarity in caring for a baby beluga. Two years ago, a beluga mother rejected her offspring at San Diego’s Seaworld, forcing the park’s specialists to raise the calf.

The National Marine Fisheries Service will determine what facility will be the whale’s long-term home, as he will never be able to return to the wild.  Right now, however, caregivers are focusing on the short-term.

“We’re not sure we’re going to have an animal around, truthfully,” said Dennis Christen, Georgia Aquarium’s director of animal training.

The calf still faces many risks, but its handlers remain hopeful, citing several signs of improvement. It is slowly starting to gain weight and become more vocal and energetic in the pool.

“When we get in the water, he comes over and runs into us, like he’s playing. It’s a rough job,” Long said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun182012

Whale Sinks Sailboat Off Coast of Mexico

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- A California man was rescued after his 50-foot sailboat was struck by a whale while he was sailing alone about 40 miles off the coast of Mexico.

The impact from the collision disabled the sailboat's steering and the vessel began taking on water late Tuesday.

Max Young, 67, a retired Sacramento high school teacher, quickly stuffed a mattress into the hole in the ship's hull and activated several pumps.

Young also activated his EPIRB, an emergency radio beacon, around midnight which alerted the Coast Guard.

"The safety equipment he had on board allowed us to find him very quickly. It was a big reason why we were able to rescue him," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Pamela J. Boehland.

The Coast Guard requested assistance from the Ocean Virgo, a Panamanian-flagged merchant ship. The Ocean Virgo was approximately 60 miles away and immediately headed to the scene.

"The fact the freighter was less than 60 miles away and was able to respond to our rescue request was great, but he was very lucky that he was able to be rescued so quickly," Boehland said.

The command center watch also diverted an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Sacramento to investigate the sinking vessel.

When the crew of the Hercules located and established radio communications with Young at about 2 a.m., he was bailing water from his boat. He had also deployed his life raft in case he had to abandon his boat.

The Hercules remained on scene until the Ocean Virgo arrived around 4 a.m., and Young climbed out of his boat via a rope ladder that was thrown by the ship's crew.

Young had been on the final leg of a trip from the East Coast to a marina in Emeryville, Calif., when the collision took place. Young has been sailing for at least 30 years, and having worked on boats with his father, who was a commercial fisherman, he's been on the ocean most of his life, his wife said.

Debra Young said she has been in contact with her husband while he's on board the Ocean Virgo, which is headed for Panama. He's not expected to be back to Sacramento for another few days.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov032011

Whales Almost Clobber Surfer: Real or Fake?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SANTA CRUZ, Calif.) -- A Santa Cruz surfer took whale watching to the extreme when she paddled far from the beach and almost got hit by two humpback whales in the middle of a feeding frenzy.

Barb Roettger, a massage therapist, recorded the close encounter with a telephoto lens from her kayak.

“I was there to see whales,” Roettger told ABC News. “They were in a feeding frenzy.”

Roettger said she had focused her camera on the surfer for one specific reason.

“She wasn’t wearing a wetsuit and the water was very cold,” Roettger said.

After the whales vanished back into the deep, Roettger spoke to the girl.

“I think she was in shock,” she said.

In recent months, Roettger said, the whales have had a few close calls with boats and people.

Some people online believe the video is a fake.

Click here to see the video

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio