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.
March 7, 2003 |
This club gets my seal of approval. The New Jersey State Aquarium is looking for a few good kids to join its Jr. Seal Club. There are two species of these marine mammals in the aquarium's Seal Shores exhibition: harbor seals, which weigh up to 250 pounds, and gray seals, which can tip the scales at more than 700 pounds. Kids who join the club get special access to the seals on a private behind-the-scenes tour. Aquarium employees will share interesting trivia about seals and show the care they receive, including the brushing of teeth and clipping of nails.
April 27, 2002 |
He's a feisty fellow with a personality all his own. That may be why a 47-pound yearling harbor seal that sustained four pellet gun wounds to the face is recovering nicely at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, after he was found washed ashore April 13 in Virginia Beach, Va. X-rays show there are four pellets lodged in the seal's face. Veterinarians say they plan to leave them where they are. "For what he has apparently been through, he's doing remarkably well," said Bob Schoelkopf, director of the center.
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.
March 24, 1997 |
The family of viruses that wasted dolphins off the New Jersey coast 10 years ago has also dealt death among cows, sheep, dogs - and humans. Since the dolphin die-off, scientists have linked viruses of this type to lethal epidemics among marine mammals from the Gulf of Mexico to an Asian lake. The viruses, known as morbilliviruses, have now been implicated in at least five waves of death among aquatic animals: Hundreds of bottlenose dolphins from New Jersey to Florida in 1987-88.
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.
December 15, 1993 |
Five minutes after her handlers used a pail of fish to coax Echo into her new outdoor home at the New Jersey State Aquarium, she gave it her seal of approval. The little blind harp seal immediately began probing the floor of the Seal Shores compound with her whiskers. "Whiskers help seals feel vibrations that help them find fish," said Rhona St. Clair, assistant curator of marine mammals. "Echo's using whiskers to do the job eyes can't. " After nine months of extensive audio training in her indoor pen, Echo yesterday afternoon moved to Seal Shores, outdoor home to the aquarium's eight resident gray and harbor seals.
November 2, 1993 |
Students at the Friends School in Haverford participated in a Peace Assembly on Oct. 15 in honor of the 300th anniversary of William Penn's plan for peace. Each student signed a peace pledge illustrated with a dove. Wearing William Penn hats specially made for the assembly, fourth graders read excerpts from Penn's writings. The third graders, who are in charge of the school's UNICEF collection, read a Bible passage from Isaiah that is inscribed on the United Nations building in New York.
October 9, 1993 |
The 20-ton humpback whale that has caused a sightseeing ruckus at the Jersey Shore emerged from the water Thursday morning just outside Great Egg Harbor Inlet and whacked the underside of a small fishing boat with its mammoth tail. The boat - owned by a couple devoted to marine mammals - has a cracked propeller shaft and several thousand dollars worth of damage. The whale, which is about the length of a three-story building, is believed to have injured its tail. No one knows how badly, because it hasn't been spotted since shortly after the collision.
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.