Subject: JJ - Transmitters lost from release (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Tue, 14 Apr 1998 10:51:30 -0400 (EDT)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed,  8 Apr 98 13:51:00 GMT 
Subject: Transmitters lost from release

Transmitters lost from released whale

   SAN DIEGO, April 3 (UPI) -- Two satellite transmitters used to track a
baby gray whale released off the coast of San Diego this week have
fallen off, leaving researchers to wonder where the huge creature is.
   Researcher Pam Yochem says it's unknown exactly where J.J. is without
the transmitters.
   The devices were attached to the whale with several thin anchors
inserted just beneath the skin.
   J.J. initially headed south upon being released Tuesday from Sea
World in San Diego, then moved north before turning around again. Yochem
says the whale may have headed north again, then zigzagged to examine
her surroundings.
   Scientists are hoping she'll migrate to Alaska with a group of gray
whales moving past Southern California.
   The researchers acknowledge they're disappointed the transmitters
didn't stay on J.J. for the 18-month period they had hoped, and say it
will be more difficult to track her progress.
   Both transmitters have been found. Yochem says one transmitter was
severely abraded, suggesting the whale rolled against sand and rocks on
the ocean floor before the device fell off.
   The researcher says J.J. is still very identifiable because of a 3-
to 4-inch red, white and blue streamer tag that should be visible when
she surfaces.
   The whale was nursed back to health after washing up near death on a
beach in Marina del Rey in January 1997.
   Experts say she faces a number of hurdles in the wild, including
killer whales on the hunt for young whales.