Subject: JJ: No sign of J.J. the baby whale (fwd)

Mike Williamson (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Sun, 26 Apr 1998 08:31:09 -0400 (EDT)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 98 11:41:00 GMT 
From: r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@sun.simmons.edu
Subject: No sign of J.J. the baby whale

No sign of J.J. the baby whale

   SAN DIEGO, April 24 (UPI) -- Researchers haven't been able to
confirm any sightings of J.J. the baby gray whale who was released
into the Pacific Ocean from Sea World nearly a month ago, despite
dozens of calls from people who think they've seen her.
   A Sea World spokesman says sightings of the elusive J.J. have
become "sort of like Elvis sightings" since her March 31 release.
   Marine biologists had hoped to track J.J.'s whereabouts for up to
18 months through two satellite transmitters attached to her. But the
transmitters fell off less than a week after her release, leaving
researchers no idea where the huge creature is.
   Scientists at the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute in San Diego
say they're hoping that J.J.'s unique color and scar patterns can be
identified through photographs taken by whale researchers who monitor
the whales' migration from Mexico to Alaska.
   She's also identifiable through a 3- to 4-inch red, white and blue
streamer tag that should be visible when she surfaces.
   Senior research biologist Brent Stewart said, "We haven't gotten any
confirmed sightings, just lots of gray whale sightings...They (the
callers) would like to believe that all of these sightings are her."
   Researchers have only been able to confirm that several whales that
have been stranded in San Francisco and Los Angeles aren't J.J. Other
reports have turned out to be dolphin or sea lion sightings.
   Stewart said, "The best news is that she's still out there."
   The whale was nursed back to health after washing up near death on
a beach in Marina del Rey in January 1997.