Stories tagged humpback whale

Of the coast of Australia, a humpback whale calf has confused a yacht for its mother. See it for yourself in this National Geographic video.

May
18
2007

Can you hear me know?: Biologists are using recorded whale songs played through underwater speakers to lure a pair of wayward humpback whales out of the Sacramento River in California. (Photo from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Can you hear me know?: Biologists are using recorded whale songs played through underwater speakers to lure a pair of wayward humpback whales out of the Sacramento River in California. (Photo from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Last winter it was a direction-less whale found up the Thames River near London. Now it’s two injured humpbacks found up the Sacramento River in California, 90 miles away from their normal ocean surroundings.

Ocean biologists are hopping to use recordings of humpback whale songs to lure the two wayward whales back to the ocean. Not only do the animals need to be moved for their own safety and comfort, but their presence has also tied up boat traffic on the river as well.

The plan was to use underwater speakers connected to a boat to play the whale songs to attract the whales down the river as the tide goes out. A flotilla of boats would be behind the whales, cutting off any escape routs back upstream.

Whale river: The mother whale slaps her tail in the Sacramento River. (Photo from USA Today)
Whale river: The mother whale slaps her tail in the Sacramento River. (Photo from USA Today)
The whales were first spotted in the river on May 13. They very likely were on their northward migration from their wintering waters off of Mexico. And some photos of the whales show they’ve been injured, probably by a boat propeller, but if they can get to the cleaner waters of the sea, the injuries have a good chance of healing without treatments.