Subject: JJ, Gray Whale-AZA Supports SeaWorld Efforts (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Thu, 19 Mar 1998 12:36:39 -0500 (EST)

                      J. Michael Williamson
Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
                   Associate Professor-Science
  Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
             voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
            fax:    617.734.8666, or 978.468.0073

          "Mother, Mother Ocean, I have heard your call,
   Wanted to sail upon your waters, since I was three feet tall"
                        Jimmy Buffett

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 98 12:40:00 GMT 
Subject: AZA Supports SeaWorld Efforts

AZA Supports SeaWorld Efforts on Behalf of Gray

   BETHESDA, Md., March 18 /U.S. Newswire/ -- SeaWorld of California
today announced the release of a female gray whale calf J.J., that has
been in its care for fourteen months.
   J.J. was rescued by SeaWorld in January 1997 in Marina del Rey,
California after she was found floundering in the surf in poor
physical condition. Under the authorization of the U.S. National
Marine Fisheries Service, J.J. was transported to SeaWorld for
   "The American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) believes that the
release of J.J. is the appropriate course of action for the continued
health and well-being of the whale. SeaWorld has adhered to the
highest level of professional standards in their efforts to care for
and prepare the whale for the rigors of the wild," stated Sydney J.
Butler, executive director of AZA. "Realizing that it is impossible to
predict what will occur after her release, we support SeaWorld's
efforts tocondition her for a life in the wild.
   "J.J. has provided the scientific community with exceptional
research and educational opportunities.  Research on gray whale
physiology, vocalization, respiration and other studies by leading
experts in this field have been undertaken. SeaWorld has also
educated the public about this magnificent creature through display
and the development of a gray whale education program. The quantity
of knowledge gained from her during her stay at SeaWorld is just
beginning to be realized," Butler continued. "And, SeaWorld has
updated the public continually on J.J.'s care, growth and
   J.J. arrived at SeaWorld when she was less than two weeks old
with a 50 percent chance of survival. The whale's rehabilitation
program has focused on preparing her physically and teaching her
the skills to survive on her own.  During this time she has shown
amazing progress, gaining over 17,000 pounds and approaching 30
feet in length.  Although it isimpossible to predict how well J.J.
will adapt upon her return to the ocean, her large size has created
logistical problems making release the only viable option.
   ------ The American Zoo and Aquarium Association was founded in
1924 and currently represents 184 accredited zoos and aquariums in
North America. AZA's mission is to support membership excellence in
conservation, education, science and recreation.