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Necropsy reveals impaled whale may have been sick


VANCOUVER — The dead fin whale dragged to shore by a cruise ship had no food in its stomach, indicating it may have been sick, preliminary results from a necropsy reveal, said Paul Cottrell, marine mammal coordinator for the department of fisheries and oceans.

The female whale also had a thin layer of blubber, he said. While a thick layer indicates good health, providing a good layer of insulation and indicating the whale has been foraging, a thin layer doesn’t necessarily suggest bad health, Cottrell said, before explaining the thin layer of blubber may merely be a result of nutrients lost when the whale had been producing calves.

But the middle-aged whale wasn’t likely reproducing anymore at this stage in her life, according to the official.

Cottrell said it’s still unclear if the impact if the ship killed the whale or if it had been dead already. The final necropsy report should be completed within a couple of weeks, he said.

The necropsy was performed at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and took about seven hours to complete.

A barge is now towing the whale to “put it back into the marine ecosystem,” Cottrell said.


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Whale impaled on cruise ship in Vancouver


A whale was impaled on the front of a cruise ship that pulled into port in Vancouver Saturday morning, witnesses said.

Jeff MacDonald, who was at Canada Place watching the ship come in, said seeing the impaled mammal "was a shock. You don't expect to see something like that and, you know, there's a lot of people staring at it — it's a very sad thing to see — and you kind of wonder how it would happen in the first place.

"It wasn't something you wanted to see on a nice Saturday morning in Vancouver."

Christianne Wilhelmson, the managing director of the marine conservation group Georgia Straight Alliance, said incidents like this are all too common.

"It's kind of a tragic example of what happens when ships meet whales … There's more and more tanker traffic, there's more and more cruise ship traffic and what you have is an animal that's trying to make its way through all this."

Wilhelmson said that traffic makes a lot of noise underwater, which confuses the whales.

"They can't talk to each other, they can't hear their environment. We're going to have more incidents like this," she said.

"It's very possible that what happened here is the animal just had no idea the ship was there and this tragedy happened because of that."

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Please donít badger the badger

Wildlife News

100 Mile House Free Press

By Carole Rooney - 100 Mile House Free Press

Published: July 21, 2009 7:00 PM
Updated: July 22, 2009 11:07 AM


A badger found near Horse Lake is causing mounds of excitement.

As a species at risk, this badger was surgically fitted with a tracking device for future monitoring.

“Kayja” the badger is now being observed and electronically monitored as part of the Cariboo Badger Project, a group which has been ongoing for about seven years now.

It is believed that less than 300 badgers currently exist in BC due to habitat loss and deaths caused by highways, shooting and poisoning.

“Probably what’s happened over the last number of decades is that badgers were virtually eliminated from the Cariboo. Mostly through persecution — through some of the old mythology of livestock falling into the badger burrows and breaking their legs — what happened is, the ground squirrel and marmot populations have basically been unchecked.”

He added that, with the absence of badgers, ground squirrels and marmots have reproduced like crazy, so now the badger is making an appearance once again to feast on them.



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Eagle-eyed Everett photographer captures nature in action

Wildlife News


A bald eagle dove out of the sky, talons aimed at a family of ducks swimming on Silver LakeThe ducklings hid underwater, while mom squawked away. After several attempts, the eagle wrapped his talons around one of the ducklings and flew away.
The moms and dads, ducks they mate for life — but dad hasn’t been around for a few weeks, so I think the babies are orphans — or at least fatherless

“Bless her heart, mama duck came up and stared death in the face and was fighting that eagle with all she had,” Hricziscse said. “It was heartbreaking.” 

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A Bald Eagle Now Calls Hershey's ZooAmerica Wildlife Park Home

Wildlife News


ZooAmerica acquired a female bald eagle from Juniata County in Pennsylvania, about 60 miles away from Hershey,where she was found with a wing injury. The country’s national bird and symbol of the United States, the bald eagle is one of the largest raptors found in North America. Once on the endangered species list, this bird of prey remains federally protected. The bird, which will be named at the Zoo's member event in August, is living in the Northlands section of ZooAmerica.


We are very excited to have added a bald eagle to our collection at ZooAmerica, especially since we’re a North American-themed zoo,” said general curator Dale Snyder. “To have our national emblem here is special for us, and it’s an impressive bird to feature.”

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