Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Whale Whisperer" Did It Once - Can He Do It Again?

This is a big day for us at Wild Sanctuary. Katherine and Bernie are on a coast guard cutter, Pike, in the Port of Sacramento hoping to lure the whales back to sea. This morning while they were meeting with Lt. Gov. Garamendi, they were informed that they have been dubbed the "Whale Whisperers" by the media...

This From News 10 Sacramento:

Marine scientists say time is absolutely critical if two humpback whales floundering in the Sacramento deep water channel are to survive. A rescue team assembled Wednesday evening to launch a full scale rescue attempt at dawn.

To get the job done organizers of the rescue are bringing in the same man who came up with the successful plan that saved Humphrey the humpback whale when he go stuck in the Sacramento delta 22 years ago.

Dr. Bernie Krause says there is a positive difference this time in that it won't take three weeks to figure out what to do. "We’re going to try one thing rather than 50 or 60 different things," said Krause.

The primary strategy is to lure the whales out of the deep water channel instead of driving them down river. There will be no banging of pipes from a boat at one end while whale songs are played from a boat at the other. The new technique will be to suspend an underwater speaker which will play whale feeding sounds recorded by Krause in Alaskan waters.

But, Dr. Krause says this is not Alaska and the situation is far more challenging than it was with Humphrey. "It's a much narrower channel for a much longer distance and we don't know how the sounds are going to play so, one never knows," said Dr. Krause.

Still, he believes the job can be done in 10 hours. Dr. Krause says Humphrey swam easily at seven miles an hour. If he can get the mother and her calf to swim at the same speed, Krause says the whales could be in the San Francisco Bay by the evening and on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge by Friday.

"Watch what happens tomorrow," said Krause. "It's either going to be a big surprise, and everything's going to be great, or I'm going to be crying."

Copyright 2007