Latest Attempt To Push Whales Back To The Ocean Fails
Photo by Tamara Keith
Biologists try this morning to move two stubborn whales up the Delta by squirting fire hoses at them, but the whales swim under the fire boats.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Scientists had hoped squirting fire hoses at two humpback whales swimming near Rio Vista would help push them up the Delta. But the attempt this morning did not work.
Instead, Ed Sweeney with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, says the whales are thought to be hiding out in a Delta inlet. Sweeney says the last known sighting of the whales, which was 20 minutes to three, is that they were 2 miles up into Cache Slough, which is about 5 nautical miles from the Rio Vista bridge.
Biologists say if the whales stay in the slough, at least they’ll be protected from the heavy recreational boat traffic expected over the Memorial Day weekend.
Sweeney says the Coast Guard will be enforcing a protected zone around the whales. Any boater who violates that zone could be fined up to 70 thousand dollars.
Scientists will let the whales rest until Tuesday. Then they’ll make another attempt to drive them up river.
The whales have now been in fresh water for 11 days. Biologists say their condition is worsening.