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The Takeaway From Orca Boat Strikes: 'It's a Game'
The Takeaway From Orca
Boat Strikes: 'It's a Game'

The Takeaway From Orca Boat Strikes: 'It's a Game'

With full bellies, bored juveniles find fun in the risky play of bumping boats: study

(Newser) - Killer whales known to ram and sink boats off the Iberian Peninsula aren't bent on destroying humans. Rather, they're likely bored teenagers who find ship rudders incredibly entertaining, according to a new report from more than a dozen orca experts who sought to explain hundreds of boat strikes...

There's a Move to Get Lonely Beluga Out of 'Unethical' Home

Animal rights activists are fighting for release of Bella, housed in a shopping mall aquarium in Seoul

(Newser) - Efforts have kicked up again to "free Bella," a beluga whale housed in an aquarium in a South Korean shopping mall. Bella was caught in 2013 at the tender age of 2 in the Arctic Ocean, off the coast of Russia, and along with two other male belugas...

Japan Shops a New, Vulnerable Species for Its Whale Hunt

(Newser) - Commercial whaling in Japan could soon expand to include a fourth species—one already considered vulnerable. Japan currently allows hunting of the Bryde's whale, minke whale, and endangered sei whale in the North Pacific. It's now considering adding a fourth eligible species: fin whales. The fin whale, up...

Cruise Ship Sails Into NYC With Dead Whale Across Bow

Endangered sei whale was sent to NJ for necropsy

(Newser) - A cruise ship sailed into a New York City port with a 44-foot dead whale across its bow, marine authorities said. The whale, identified as an endangered sei whale, was caught on the ship's bow when it arrived at the Port of Brooklyn on Saturday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

Dead Whale in New Jersey Had Fractured Skull

Blunt force trauma is the cause of death, though the cause of it isn't clear

(Newser) - A post-mortem examination of a whale that washed ashore on New Jersey's Long Beach Island found that the animal had sustained numerous blunt force injuries including a fractured skull and vertebrae, per the AP . The Marine Mammal Stranding Center on Friday released observations from a necropsy done on the...

Clock Is Ticking on Rescue of This Stranded Young Orca

Killer whale calf is stuck in lagoon off Vancouver Island, Canada, with its food supply dwindling

(Newser) - Plans are underway to rescue a stranded killer whale calf out of a remote tidal lagoon off northern Vancouver Island in an effort to reunite the young female orca with its extended family, Canadian authorities said Wednesday, per the AP .
  • Stranded: Rescuers have been unable to coax the young whale,

Sperm Whales Employ a Stinky Defense Against Orcas

Witnesses saw the whales use an enormous cloud of poop to fend off attack

(Newser) - Orcas have been known to pick fights with everything from sharks to yachts , but a pod in Western Australia recently learned the hard way that they should really leave sperm whales alone. Off the state's southern coast, viewers on a whale-watching tour following the orcas realized the creatures were...

Whales Just Gained Personhood Here
Whales Just Gained
Personhood Here

Whales Just Gained Personhood Here

Polynesian Indigenous groups sign treaty they hope will lead to greater protections

(Newser) - Whales are people, too, according to the Indigenous leaders of New Zealand, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands, who've acted to bestow personhood on whales. New Zealand's Maori and other Indigenous groups from Polynesia signed a treaty that recognizes all whales as legal persons as part of an effort...

Beached Sperm Whale Off Florida Couldn't Be Saved

The 44-foot male appeared underweight

(Newser) - A sperm whale that became famous after beaching itself on a sandbar along Florida's Gulf Coast died Monday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement. As the AP reports, police and wildlife officials began trying to free the male whale from the shallow sandbar off...

'Incredibly Rare' Whale Sighting Made Off East Coast

Gray whale went extinct in the Atlantic centuries ago

(Newser) - The gray whale went extinct in the Atlantic Ocean more than 200 years ago—so researchers from the New England Aquarium were more than a little surprised to see one off the coast of Nantucket on Friday. The whale was spotted by an aerial survey plane around 30 miles from...

How a Cushion of Fat Helps Whales Sing

Researchers may have figured out how baleen whales vocalize

(Newser) - Whales sing loud enough that their songs travel through the ocean, but knowing the mechanics behind that has been a mystery. Scientists now think they have an idea, and it's something not seen in other animals: a specialized voice box. Experts say the discovery, while based on a study...

Another Endangered Whale Dead in US Waters

Right whale appears to have been struck by a ship, an increasingly common hazard

(Newser) - Federal authorities said the second critically endangered North Atlantic right whale found dead in the last month appears to have been struck by a ship. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it was notified of a dead right whale floating off Savannah, Georgia, on Feb. 13. The agency said...

Killer Whales Trapped Under Sea Ice Make a Break for It

Orcas off coast of Japan, spotted huddled together and bobbing in the waters, appear to have escaped

(Newser) - As a nation held its breath, so, too, did a pod of killer whales trapped beneath the ice off of the northern shores of Japan, bobbing their heads up and down from a small gap in the ice to breathe. Now, officials say the dozen or so orcas appear to...

Friendly Beluga, an Escapee, Is at the Center of Controversy

'New York Times Magazine' digs into efforts underway to protect Hvaldimir

(Newser) - It's possible you've seen images or video of a beluga whale known as Hvaldimir. Maybe, for instance, when Ellen DeGeneres showed incredible video of him on her show in 2019 returning a phone to a woman who had accidently dropped it in the sea in Hammerfest, Norway. That...

Aquarium Welcomed 5 Whales in 2021. 3 Are Now Dead

Beluga named Kharabali, 9, had been swimming abnormally at Mystic Aquarium since November

(Newser) - A 9-year-old beluga whale at Mystic Aquarium named Kharabali has died, marking the third death among five whales that were transported there from Canada in 2021. Kharabali began swimming abnormally in November and "her strange behavior continued to progress." She was eventually moved to the intensive care facility...

Whale's Voice Is the Only Evidence It Exists

Researchers have recorded sounds from a potentially new species for 18 years

(Newser) - Scientists have been eavesdropping on the calls of a certain type of whale for the last 18 years, but despite a few close encounters, have yet to see the elusive mammal. As Hakai Magazine reports, researchers from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently pored over years of recordings...

One of Our Biggest Mammals Finally Gets a Sanctuary

Caribbean island of Dominica preserves about 300 square miles for nearly 3 dozen whale families

(Newser) - The tiny Caribbean island of Dominica is creating the world's first marine-protected area for one of Earth's largest animals: the endangered sperm whale. Nearly 300 square miles of royal blue waters on the western side of the island nation that serve as key nursing and feeding grounds will...

This Humpback Whale Got a Much-Needed Rescue

'Hog-tied' juvenile in Alaska had gotten caught up in a 300lb crab pot, and lines

(Newser) - When Alaska fishermen dropped a 300lb crab pot in the waters close to Glacier Bay National Park, they were probably hoping to catch, well, crabs. What they got instead was a much bigger catch—though not in a good way. As NPR reports, the crab pot and its lines got...

When Seattle Phones Ping, It's a Sign Whales Are Near

The AP looks at a popular WhatsApp chat group that alerts members to sightings

(Newser) - Peter Bates was dropping his car at the mechanic this month when a notification pinged on his phone: Killer whales were approaching his Seattle neighborhood. He hopped on a bus toward the water, then an electric bike. He was pedaling along a shoreline trail when orcas' black fins and white...

Decline of Rare Whale May Be Leveling Off

But total number of North Atlantic right whales remains below 400 on US East Coast

(Newser) - The decline of one of the rarest whales in the world appears to be slowing, but scientists warn the giant mammals still face existential threats from warming oceans, ship collisions, and entanglement in fishing gear, per the AP . The population of North Atlantic right whales, which live off the US...

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