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A Whale Comes To London!


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#1 luci2a

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 01:00 PM

Here's one for the record books - a whale has made its way up the Thames today, passing the Houses of Parliament and all the tourist sites, getting stuck between Chelsea and Battersea bridges. It's dark now, and the rescuers hope that it will make use of the high tide later to turn round and head off back to the sea.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articl...e_feature.shtml

Poor thing - it must be terrified.

Luci2a

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#2 dc3

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 01:54 AM

I hope they are successful in getting it turned around. I live in California, and we had a whale swim 180 miles us the Sacramento River before they were able to get him turned around and headed back out to sea. They named this humpback whale Humphry.

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#3 phawgg

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 02:56 AM

Wonders never cease in this world of ours, luci2a

More power to the whale.
Might be an intelligence beyond easy description on a mission to demonstrate it's ability.
Who knows, maybe it was uncomfortable in the North Sea
that is becoming too English dominated in the quest for oil? :thumbsup:
patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#4 luci2a

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 03:55 AM

Hello Phawgg :thumbsup:
I heard that whales come ashore when they are unwell, and today he is even further upstream and behaving in a very disorientated manner. I do hope he pulls through, but the vets who are watching are getting very concerned.

He is several hundred miles south of the oil rigs (which are off the coast of Scotland rather than England!) but the English Channel, which is where the Thames runs into the sea, is one of the busiest waterways in the world. There are hundreds of container ships and ferries passing through a very narrow strip of water - I don't think oil is the only cargo - and it's running out now!

Apparently whales are not usually seen to the east of the British Isles - they are more likely to be spotted off the west coast of Ireland.

I just hope he makes it.

Luci2a

Edited by luci2a, 21 January 2006 - 03:56 AM.


#5 phawgg

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 05:06 AM

Here we have the orcas.
Killer Whales.

Recently one was causing concern, controversy really.
He was too friendly in the Puget Sound.

He was separated from his known pod.
Although it "understood" by some that he probably could find his pod,
it was apparent he prefered the company of humans in their boats.

He'd frequent the local marine docks, repeating his entertaining actions nearly daily.
Nuzzling/bumping the sides of boats.
Racing and jumping in sync with boats that were under power and moving.

A local Indian tribe intervened, risking law enforcement action by doing so,
when government officials made attempts to lure/trap him so they
could assist him
to find his pod. It had been determined he was in danger around props.
Setting a bad example for animals in "busy waterways".

The tribe had recently buried their chief of many decades.
On his death bed he said he would come back as orca.

Occasionally small "sub-pods" appear in other parts of the large Puget Sound.
I've seen them on a ferryboat crossing once myself.
They do surface and manuver sorta in sync with watercraft.
It delights and fascinates people.

Last year 37 whales beached on the east coast.
An educated person did a study/report of the event.
This week it was reported that all references to Navy sonar activity at that time
were deleted from the report.
The Navy is "sensitive to such claims and/or questions".

Well, we do not live as mammels in water, which covers 3/4 of the entire world.
We certainly do live as exploiters of that vast resource.
We as humans always have, to the extent we could throughout the ages.

Call me a "tree hugger" or "environmentalist/activist" if you must,
but I think history clearly has documented foolish & greedy actions
taken by whomever profits by doing so .. usually with sanctions from
authoritative bodies. Governments collect money by taxing profits.

Off topic ... sorry.

I do hope the whale survives the publicity despite it's disorientaion. :thumbsup:

Edited by phawgg, 21 January 2006 - 05:07 AM.

patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#6 luci2a

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:14 AM

hey Phawgg
That is a wonderful post - like a poem really. I so agree with you about our greediness destroying our planet.

When my kids were little I took them to the movie "Free Willy". One of the saddest things about that was the fact that the "star" of the film, Keiko the killer whale, was himself not free, and when he was released in Iceland after attempts to rehabilitate him he headed straight back to Norway and the companionship of humans. (I'm sure you know this already!) I was so sad when he died a couple of years ago, having never become truly free again.

I think our London whale may not make it.

Luci2a

#7 Rimmer

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:39 AM

I'm sorry to hear your whale may not make it. I hope that many Londoners had the opportunity to see such an amazing creature swimming in the Thames! Thanks for the updates.
Down here the whales migrate along the east coast twice every year, and there is a flourishing "whale watching" industry providing tours for people to see them out at sea. At the moment the Minky whales are migrating into the path of Japanese whaling fleets which kill them by the dozen for "research purposes". :thumbsup: I think the research is to find out the maximum price they can charge for whale steak in Tokyo resteraunts, but I could be wrong on that. :flowers:

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#8 luci2a

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 07:06 AM

I think you are probably right Rimmer.
At least Keiko died from pneumonia. Heading to Norway might have been very risky for him as the Norwegian whaling industry is alive and well, and they export whale meat and blubber to Japan as the market for it in Norway itself is not great. They justify killing whales as the only means of preserving fish stocks.

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/ca...rwegian-whaling

Thank goodness Keiko was protected from all that.

Luci2a

#9 luci2a

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 09:07 AM

Better news this lunch-time - he has been "captured" by rescuers and is on a pontoon now, waiting for the vets to decide how to move him. I hope they think he can make it, otherwise they will euthanase him if his injuries are too severe.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4633878.stm

Luci2a




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