Hi again class...same deal...the answers are below...
From: Sue Shirley [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, October 11, 2002 10:41 AM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: more whale questions
Here are some more questions from the other half of the fifth grade! I'm
sorry if some of them are repetitive. Many thanks for responding to the
first half-they were thrilled.
from Kaleigh, Casey, and Audrey: What do you do with the whales that you
When we rescue a whale we try to get it back to where it belongs.
What is the most commonly beached whale? If you mean BIG whale it would
probably be the humpback whale. If you include small toothed whales (down
to porpoises)...the most common would probably be harbor porpoise, then
pilot whales, then whitesided dolphins.
from Alanna and Kristina: How do whales beach themselves? You know I get
asked "why" a lot but almost never "how".... Most of the time the whales
get stuck on sand bars or in marshes when the tide goes out. On Cape Cod
there are some places where the tide will go out for over a mile between
low and high tide....
from Ajanni and Patrick: Have you ever been bitten by a whale? Yes, but I
have done a lot of things (like feeding whales we were treating) that can
get a person bit. I've never had a whale try to bite me on purpose. By
the way...what was worse than being bitten was being hit with the tail of a
pilot whale...there were doctors...there was plaster...there were
crutches...it was not pretty...the moral of the story is even if you think
you know what you are doing you need to be very careful, particularly
around big animals... Do you have
a favorite individual whale? My favorite whale (if you could call her a
whale) was a Rizzos dolphin (a small whale, big dolphin, about the size of
a pilot whale) by the name of "Louisiana Lou". Lou became stranded in a
marsh south of Boston after she followed (actually rode on the bow) of a
supertanker (the Louisiana) into Boston harbor. By the time we rescued her
she was in prettybad shape, but she recovered at the New England Aquarium
and was actually seen as a part of the dolphin shows for a while, when she
was there. She was a very nice whale, but was sickly and (we later found
out) deaf. So she was eventually sent to a research facility, that took
care of her for many years. What was he/she like? She was very tolerant
of us trying to treat her and seemed to try very hard to fit in with the
bottlenose dolphins that she was being kept with.
from Josh and Davis: Where are most whales stranded? Well...on the beach
of course...Actually around here, the location of most strandings is the
inside coast of Cape Cod (near the town of Wellfleet and Welfleet Bay).How
do you get the whales back to the aquarium? Trucks...BIG
trucks...Remember, the largest whales we move that way have been pilot
whales (about ten to twelve feet long and about 1000-1200 pounds). So we
use special lifting stretchers to pick them up and rest them on foam pads.
Keep them wet and cool (or warm depending on what the need) and off we go.
from Roxana and Katie: What do most whales die of? There is a difference
between the ones I see and the ones that die out at sea that I don't see
(see??). What happens to the ones at sea, I guess no one knows. Of the
ones that come ashore, the ones that come in singly are usually sick,
(quite often with parasites), injured, or abandoned young. When whole
groups come ashore, most may be pretty healthy to start, but die from being
on the beach too long.
from Ian and Will: What do you do to find out why an animal dies? We
examine it a closely as we can. This might mean that we will take the
whale apart and look at it inside and out. We often save parts that are
looked at and tested later. Sometimes it might be years later. In one
case we took blood samples that we had saved in a freezer from pilot whales
and tested them to see if they might have had a certain disease (we did not
know about this disease when the whales stranded). We found out that some
of those whales probably had the disease we were looking for. Those blood
samples had been in a freezer for almost ten years..... How long
does it take for a whale to die? Way too long if you are nearby......(In
some cases a whale that is hurt on the beach may float off and take weeks
to die. In some cases, when a whale must be "put to sleep", it can take
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Oct 15 2002 - 07:36:19 EDT