whales

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Beachgoers Save a Pod of Stranded Whales

Volunteers help professionals in Georgia rescue

(Newser) - When Georgia Natural Resources workers arrived at a beach on St. Simons Island, they thought the group of people in the water was putting on some sort of dolphin show for beachgoers. "As we got closer, we couldn't believe what we saw," a spokesman said, per CNN... More »

Happy News for a Clan of Endangered Whales

Researchers say baby orca around Puget Sound is a girl

(Newser) - Researchers watching a clan of endangered whales that visit the waters off Washington state saw a welcome sight last week: a baby female calf. The Center for Whale Research already knew of the orca calf's birth in May, but the sighting in July revealed its gender, along with confirmation... More »

6 Endangered Whales Found Dead in a Month

Worse, females were among the half-dozen North Atlantic right whales discovered

(Newser) - A half-dozen North Atlantic right whales have died in the past month, leading scientists, government officials, and conservationists to call for a swift response to protect the endangered species, per the AP . There are only a little more than 400 of the right whales left. All six of the dead... More »

First Whales Caught as Japan Resumes Commercial Hunt

2 minke whales are taken, and more than 200 are expected to follow

(Newser) - Japanese whalers returned to port Monday with their first catch after resuming commercial whaling for the first time in 31 years, achieving the long-cherished goal of traditionalists despite slowing demand for the meat and changing views on conservation. A fleet of five boats left the northern Japanese port of Kushiro... More »

Russia Is Closing Down Illegal 'Whale Jails'

100 whales will be returned to the wild, deputy PM says

(Newser) - Russian officials have launched an operation to release nearly 100 illegally captured whales whose confinement in Russia's far east has become a rallying cry for environmentalists. A state TV reporter made the announcement during President Vladimir Putin's annual live call-in show on Thursday, saying that by "coincidence"... More »

Out of Canada, 'News to Splash a Fin At'

'Free Willy' act, which would bar holding whales, dolphins in captivity, about to become law

(Newser) - "Breaking: Victory!" That was the exuberant message from Canada's Green Party on Monday, when the country's House of Commons passed a bill aimed at protecting marine life there. CNN reports on the "Free Willy" bill—named for the 1993 flick in which a boy "... More »

Off the West Coast, Gray Whales Are Starving to Death

At least 53 have washed up so far this year

(Newser) - Gray whales are starving to death in alarming numbers off the West Coast—and researchers aren't entirely sure why. So far this year, at least 53 dead gray whales have washed up on shores from San Diego to Washington state, a number only rivaled by a die-off in 1999... More »

A Whale Rubbed Against a Boat. It Wore a Harness

Officials speculate harnessed beluga whale found off Norway escaped from Russian military facility

(Newser) - A beluga whale found with a tight harness that appeared to be Russian-made has raised the alarm of Norwegian officials and prompted speculation that the animal may have escaped from a Russian military facility. Joergen Ree Wiig of the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries says "Equipment St. Petersburg" is written... More »

3 Endangered Whale Calves Have Made 'Perilous' Journey

3 of 7 North Atlantic right whales in this year's 'baby boom' have arrived in New England

(Newser) - An endangered species of whale is experiencing a mini-baby boom in New England waters, researchers on Cape Cod tell the AP . The North Atlantic right whale is one of the rarest species of whale on the planet, numbering only about 411. But the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Mass.... More »

Fossil of 4-Legged Whale Found in Peru

Scientists believe it swam like an otter

(Newser) - What's 13 feet long and has webbed feet with small hooves? It's a whale, according to researchers examining a 42.6-million-year-old fossil found near Peru's Pacific coast. The four-legged early whale, which could apparently move on land as well as in the sea, is the most complete... More »

Philippines Horror: 'Most Plastic We Have Ever Seen in a Whale'

88 pounds of plastic found in dead whale that washed up on beach

(Newser) - A dead whale washed up on a Philippine beach was distressing enough, but museum workers have deemed what they found inside the creature's gut "disgusting." The BBC reports that the Cuvier's beaked whale turned up on the shoreline east of Davao City on Saturday, and when... More »

Stunned Scientist: 'It's Like Seeing a Dinosaur'

Researchers discover a new kind of killer whale

(Newser) - A killer whale is hard to miss, and yet we did—for decades. Now scientists have discovered what could be a new species of killer whale thriving in a very inhospitable part of the world, Phys.org reports. Dubbed Type D, the whales were first recorded in 1955 when 17... More »

Stork Is Visiting Critically Endangered Right Whales

7 new calves have been spotted off Florida, Georgia, in the wake of 0 last year

(Newser) - First there was one. But now the good news from critically endangered North Atlantic right whales has multiplied by seven—the number of new calves spotted so far this year in the waters off Florida and Georgia, reports the Daytona Beach News-Journal . That's especially encouraging given the zero calves... More »

An Encouraging Sight in the Waters Off Florida

Right whale calf has been spotted

(Newser) - Florida conservationists are reporting a right whale calf sighting off the state's Atlantic coast. In a Facebook post, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute said it's the first calf sighting of the critically endangered whale's winter calving season. "The... More »

200 Whales Die in New Zealand in the Past Week

There have been multiple mass strandings

(Newser) - Fifty-one pilot whales died Friday in another mass stranding in New Zealand, the AP reports, less than a week after 145 pilot whales and nine pygmy killer whales perished in two other, unrelated strandings. In the latest stranding, up to 90 pilot whales beached themselves late Thursday at Hanson Bay... More »

Scientists Just Discovered a Quirk of Whale Songs

Humpbacks sing an increasingly complex tune for years, then drop it for something simpler

(Newser) - Researchers studying the songs of humpback whales have discovered a quirk of the undersea music: The whales sing the same song for a few years, adding individual embellishments and making it increasingly complex all the while. And then, poof, they switch to a simpler tune and start the cycle over... More »

Dozens of Stranded Whales, a 'Heartbreaking Decision'

More than 140 pilot whales die after being stranded on New Zealand's Stewart Island

(Newser) - A hiker on a New Zealand island stumbled upon a distressing sight this weekend: dozens of pilot whales, dead on the beach after getting stranded there. Per the Guardian , the nation's Department of Conservation fielded a call Saturday from the hiker, who'd been camping on secluded Stewart Island,... More »

In Dead Whale's Belly, a Horrifying Collection of Plastic

Sperm whale found in Indonesia, world's No. 2 plastics polluter

(Newser) - A dead whale that washed ashore in eastern Indonesia had a large lump of plastic waste in its stomach, including drinking cups and flip-flops, reports the AP . The discovery caused concern among environmentalists and government officials in one of the world's largest plastic-polluting countries. Rescuers from Wakatobi National Park... More »

Illegal Russian 'Whale Jail' Investigated

Dozens of orcas, belugas seen in cramped pens

(Newser) - Some of the world's most majestic creatures are being kept in cramped conditions in an illegal "whale jail" in Russia, activists say. Prosecutors in the city of Vladivostok in Russia's Far East opened an investigation after drone video was released showing dozens of beluga whales and orcas... More »

A 'Gut-Wrenching' Mother's Grief in the Puget Sound

Orca won't let go of her calf, who died shortly after being born Tuesday off the Washington coast

(Newser) - What's being described as a "gut-wrenching" scene is playing out in Puget Sound, and it's been going on for at least three days. The Seattle Times reports on J35, an orca who gave birth on Tuesday only to witness her calf die 30 minutes later—and she'... More »

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