April 16, 2005 |
Though he has great stage presence and draws a crowd, H?lis the whale may be performing his final act, says the Canadian researcher who knows him best. "He may be just trying to finish his life in a warmer area," said Robert Michaud, who believes H?lis belongs to a beluga whale population he has been tracking since 1986. According to Michaud, who runs the nonprofit Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals, in Quebec, the white whale who has roamed the Delaware River this week is nearing the end of his 30-to-35-year life expectancy.
September 1, 2000 |
Researchers sponsored by the Navy have begun a high-frequency acoustic experiment in the Delaware Bay despite concerns that the sounds could harm infant bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles as they are preparing to migrate. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection approved the Navy's application for the test but is requiring that underwater cameras linked to a University of Delaware Web site track any changes in marine-animal behavior. Any change beyond a temporary "startle response" to the sounds, which scientists say they believe can help measure the marine ecosystem, must be reported and might result in a suspension of the testing, according to the DEP. The testing began this week, even as several environmental groups and two New Jersey congressmen requested that the tests be delayed until October, after the dolphins and turtles have migrated south.
April 14, 2005 |
It looks as if he's Canadian. Researchers from Quebec believe the 12-foot beluga whale that has lost his way on the Delaware River is one of their own, a male named Helis. Identifiable by a large gash on his back near his dorsal ridge, the snow-white Helis (pronounced ell-EE) was first spotted in 1986 among belugas that make their home near the St. Lawrence River, Quebec's Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals said yesterday. The Canadian government even gave him a number: DL 018. The whale swam back and forth on the Delaware yesterday, thwarting marine-mammal monitors who trailed behind him in motorboats, trying to will the whale to swim back out to sea. He drew crowds of delighted schoolchildren and businesspeople at riverfront parks from Beverly in Burlington County to north of Tullytown in Bucks County.
August 12, 2007 |
The only organization in New Jersey authorized by the state to rescue distressed marine mammals may close in three years if local officials decide there is a more valuable use for the waterfront property it leases from the city. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center, home to scientists who help wrong-way whales in the Delaware River and newborn seals that crawl onto highways, established a venerable marine veterinary-care center 22 years ago on land leased from the city for $1 a year.
June 6, 2011
When a young Bob Schoelkopf was working as a marine animal trainer 34 years ago at an aquarium on Atlantic City's Steel Pier - and despising how the creatures were kept in captivity - his "aha moment" came when a dying whale washed up on the beach and he was asked to care for it. There was no one else to call. In the two days that Schoelkopf sat nursing the animal before it died, he formulated a plan for a kind of antiaquarium to respond to marine mammal strandings up and down the coast.
May 26, 1988 |
After spending 10 years in obscurity and near-poverty rescuing the stranded whales, seals and sea turtles that wash up on the Jersey shore, Bob Schoelkopf suddenly became an environmental celebrity last summer. The outspoken director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center put in two months of 20-hour days literally up to his elbows in dead dolphins - 89, to be exact, of the 793 that died on East Coast beaches. His 24-hour stranded mammal hot line (609-266-0538 or 609-348-5018)
July 30, 1992 |
Robert Schoelkopf had a $500 June electric bill because of an air conditioner that ran full blast. But it was not Schoelkopf's comfort at stake. It was his house guests: three malnourished arctic seals recuperating at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center here. Schoelkopf, the center's co-director, released all three back into their natural habitat the first week of July, fatter and happier than ever. But if a dolphin needed a place to recover with such creature comforts, Schoelkopf would be out of luck.
December 26, 1990 |
With today's official opening of its new Marine Mammals Pavilion, the National Aquarium here has something that it has lacked for the first decade of its existence - heroes. Up to now, the stars of this very popular attraction have been sharks. Within the intentionally dark and disorienting harbor-side building, visitors have taken a zigzag voyage to the bottom of the aquarium tank, passing many different kinds of fish, with the climax of the journey being a nose-to-nose encounter with some of the world's most efficiently designed carnivores.
January 6, 1994 |
A gale howled Monday night outside the two small, gray buildings of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. Inside, director Bob Schoelkopf was on the phone with reporters and the public. It had been that way for several days, with some callers saying he had done too little to save four dolphins stranded in a central New Jersey river and some complaining he had done too much. Schoelkopf hung up the phone and looked at a bank of cameras in his office. A monitor showed a baby harp seal - recently washed up on Island Beach State Park with a broken jaw - resting in an adjacent building.
August 17, 2014 |
CAPE MAY - Ten miles from the dock and getting close to the 21/2-hour mark of a three-hour whale-watching excursion, captain Jeff Stewart needed to turn the big red Cape May Whale Watcher around and head toward the shoreline if the boat was to make it back on schedule. But Stewart, who has been operating such trips for more than 40 years so tourists can get an up-close look at marine creatures, wasn't quite ready to give up. Neither were the passengers. Sure, some marine mammals had already been spotted that day - including a "super pod" of hundreds of bottlenose dolphin.