Scientists Review What Worked with Whales

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, June 18, 2007

They tried banging on pipes and playing recordings of whales feeding.  But scientists still don’t know exactly what strategy—if any-- helped the mother and female calf find their way… Biologist Sarah Wilkin with the National Marine Fisheries Service was among rescuers who gathered to compare notes. 

“Some of the acoustic sounds might have had a temporary effect on the animals, it might have altered their behavior slightly but nothing had a sustained response…” 

Wilkin says they will also be looking at the tides and the whales’ behavior on those days.  She says a major success was the delivery of antibiotics to the whales, whose skin deteriorated in the fresh water. Wilkin says these lessons will be useful for future rescues because it’s not a question of if but when whales will move off course.