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Apr 13, 2010 2:10 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Whale killed with bullet; experts defend how beaching was handled

Apr 13, 2010 2:10 PM

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My goodness, where is Mr. Bowman now?

All this human effort.

One dead whale.

What a dramatic circus!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 9, 10 8:25 PM
Starting to think you have a personal vendetta against Chuck
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Apr 10, 10 7:23 PM
Starting to think you are his "pocker buddy"
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 7:29 PM
You must mean POKER Buddy?
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Apr 11, 10 7:26 AM
oh, please...who doesn't after this insanity?? He put himself out there; can't he take the feedback?
By EQme (112), East Quogue on Apr 12, 10 8:56 PM
See comments in earlier article. The low tidal range this week (in between full and new moons) lessened the chances of the whale making it back to sea (with or without human assistance).
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 9, 10 8:36 PM
Why do I feel they will find nothing wrong physically with this whale but make up a cause of death to redeem themselves for their "proper protocol?"
By localwater (35), east hampton on Apr 9, 10 8:44 PM
The local weekly paper to our east is reporting:

"Bob Delagin of the Suffolk Health Department said at the press conference that the effect the full dose of the drug could have on a human had not yet been determined. "We're trying to learn as much as we can about the agents in that dart," he said."

What ???

You shot an arrow into the air, and it fell to Earth, you know not where? Plus you did not even know what poison the arrow contained?

Wake up the circus-master. ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 9, 10 9:09 PM
2 members liked this comment
This whole situation degraded into a three-ring circus. I applaud all of you who made your voices heard over this atrocity - and your voices were the squeaky wheel that made them finally reach for the grease.

We live in a day and age of cell phones, internet and FedEx. There are no excuses. I'm not sure how Mr. Bowman knew what was going to happen to this poor juvenile whale - apparently his crystal ball was wrong.

The MINUTE that whale was discovered on the beach, they ...more
By DogLover (14), Wainscott on Apr 9, 10 9:30 PM
3 members liked this comment
So true
By roxanne Briggs (10), East Hampton on Apr 12, 10 6:58 AM
I still believe you should always try to save first! We did save a Right Whale all the way back in 1981 I Have the video to prove it! Big Thanks to Sam and Jill I will never forget!
By Archie Jost (7), Stuart Florida on Apr 9, 10 9:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
It has been far too many years. I will try and find a way to get you my contact information privately. And thanks I remember that whale ans those days fondly as well.
By ssadove (14), East Quogue on Apr 10, 10 8:25 PM
Is this the story? Love it. And great photo.


Okeanos was once your baby. Yet it "grew up" and walked a different path. Please stay true to your good works. It's a new day now. This recent experience is a reminder of how desperately we need people with your experience, knowledge, passion and skills. Sign me up. I'll be there and support in any way I can.

By saveher (6), montauk on Apr 11, 10 2:52 PM
2 members liked this comment
I would also like both of your contact info privately...how does that happen/
By EQme (112), East Quogue on Apr 12, 10 8:55 PM
You saved it? So are we to assume you tracked/followed the whale to make sure it didn't drown or get predated upon? That would be wonderful. Or are we just talking about making ourselves feel better?

There is a long term right whale photo ID database of almost all whales ever sighted that is maintained by New England Aquarium . Would be interesting to see if your saved animal is in there.
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 2:36 PM
Wrong Species, it is a Sperm whale and yes it was in fact marked and sighted 6 months later alive! As for the Right whale catalogue I have a copy and have contributed photos to it.
S Sadove
By ssadove (14), East Quogue on Apr 13, 10 10:28 PM
Yes that is the whale, came to be called "Physty"
S Sadove
By ssadove (14), East Quogue on Apr 13, 10 10:29 PM
I am sorry but I don't give out email or phone here. However send a request through Facebook with you ID here and I will respond. I am not in it frequently but will get back to you.
S Sadove
By ssadove (14), East Quogue on Apr 13, 10 10:31 PM
Sorry the whale we saved was a Sperm Whale the only one ever held in captivity and releised was also in the surf.
By Archie Jost (7), Stuart Florida on Apr 13, 10 10:53 PM
e-mail me at ajaqua@bellsouth.net Thanks
By Archie Jost (7), Stuart Florida on Apr 14, 10 5:55 PM
He said samples were sent to many different labs, and it was hard to determine when the results would be available.

“It could be a day or a few weeks—or never, if the samples are inconclusive
Bet you 100 to 1 the results will never be released. We all got to believe the whale was ill, right? I am not a big fan of fascism as you can see.
By BruceB (142), Sag Harbor on Apr 9, 10 10:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
Another construed East End success story.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Apr 9, 10 10:26 PM
One improtant question- how do you miss a 30ft long 1 ton whale with a dart about 1 1/2 feet long? Maybe they should have used a local hunter for this job, it would have been done properly.
I think this whale should have been given more of a chance at survival.
By semi local (19), hampton bays on Apr 9, 10 11:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
Re-read the article. It BOUNCED off the whale - which is covered in a FOOT of blubber. Not an easy task.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 10, 10 9:49 AM
Nature - Nature - always so defensive.
By finy (14), Southampton on Apr 10, 10 10:17 AM
I wouldn't say defensive as much as annoyed at the ignorance of the general population who are spouting off on topics they know nothing about.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 10, 10 4:20 PM
Semi Local has some right ideas letting the hunters shoot the whale due to the fact there is enough toxins to kill a whale what's that going to do to our fishery. I Have an important question what would have happened if they paid to have the whale pulled back offshore only to have it wash back to the shore and having to pay for it's disposal, besides even if they took it to Atlantis what would they done it still needed it's mother to feed it. Atlantis marine dosent have the cappicity to handle it.
By Silance Dogood (1), Southampton on Apr 10, 10 12:00 AM
This was no boating accident!
By GeorgeFromNY (1), Southampton on Apr 10, 10 1:58 AM
Death is inevitable, for all of God's children - big and small. Kudos to all of those who got involved and helped.
By SagHarborBob (91), Sag Harbor on Apr 10, 10 4:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
Lets state the truth. The whale didn't die on it's own. It was killed by a final blow from a gun! and how brillant it is that a deadly dart is missing!! Love it!!! You are discussing whether or not the dart could be a health risk....you were going to euthanize a whale with it...I am beyond words. There are so many levels of how this whole thing feels wrong! Thank God the creature is at peace and not surrounded by fear anymore.
By SESmom (5), Southampton on Apr 10, 10 7:02 AM
2 members liked this comment
Since the first morning that the baby humpback was stranded the public response to the incompetence and unprofessional actions of these so-called marine experts, (I'll call them incompetent heartless fools), has been very vocal and noted in blogs, emails, newspapers and television. I think these people from the Riverhead Foundation should be held accountable. But more important than that is we all use our outrage to see that this kind of tragidy does not happen again. All oceanfront communities ...more
By brutus1475 (1), East Hampton on Apr 10, 10 7:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
I totally agree. The Riverhead Foundation should not be called on such matters. Let them stick to turtles, seals and penguins.
This was obviously out of their league. Science doesn't always have the right answer and the fact that this was a rare event ( a live baleen whale stranding) they clearly had no protocol to deal with such a thing, anywhere.
This should not have been trial and error. Or, as one spokesperson suggested, a work in progress. The bad thing? Now that the whale is done, ...more
By localwater (35), east hampton on Apr 10, 10 8:13 AM
Was that another Bowman deboggle? Does someone have the answer?
By finy (14), Southampton on Apr 10, 10 10:20 AM
In Part yes
By ssadove (14), East Quogue on Apr 14, 10 7:58 AM
Its nice to see someone up at 7:30 filled with Monday Morning Quarterback comments. These as you put it" so-called experts" , oh before I continue, where did you get your Marine Bology Degree? You surely seem to have a grasp on the ease of trying to euthanize a 30 foot whale in poor sea conditions. Knowing how well our gov't supplies these agencies with the best equipment, NOT. I am sure they have euthanized many whales in those conditions. These "so-called experts" are Doctors first and none want ...more
By Ted S. (1), Hampton Bays on Apr 19, 10 10:52 PM
This whole story is just sad. Poor baby, not even one year old, with his mother searching for him. They should have attempted at least to drag him back out to sea instead of just saying it was impossible. Nothing is impossible. This is just horrible and really sad. On top of that, an endangered species? It's not right...they decided from the beginning they would not help this poor creature. Obviously it was responding to the Shinnecock's ceremony if I read one of the other articles correctly...Mr ...more
By LilOnes21 (23), hampton bays on Apr 10, 10 8:10 AM
It will be a cover up. they will find nothing wrong with this mammal other than having not eaten in almost a week, battered by the tides, internal organs failing due to the pressure points of being stranded. They will make up something like it had a plastic bag in its stomach which prevented it from eating, etc.... to redeem themselves of their inaction. Even if they do find a legitimate reason for the whales' stranding, I won't believe it. Never. They are not credible now in my opinion. You don't ...more
By localwater (35), east hampton on Apr 10, 10 8:49 AM
I agree - irrespective of what was wrong with this poor creature, nothing justifies not giving it a chance at life, and then letting it wallow and suffer for days in the surf.
By DogLover (14), Wainscott on Apr 11, 10 7:34 AM
Well said!!!! I will never believe that the whale could not have been saved....
By roxanne Briggs (10), East Hampton on Apr 12, 10 9:24 AM
Volunteer commercial fisherman( they have big hearts) with their fishing vessels could have gently netted the beached whale and pulled it out to sea to give it a chance to survive or die naturally. Instead, they mercilessly tortured, maimed, and murdered this poor baby whale. Shame on them. They should stick to helping Goldfish and when Goldfish die, you flush them down the toilet. Nobody's the wiser.
By Johnny Nova (83), Northampton on Apr 10, 10 9:04 AM
3 members liked this comment
You are absolutely right and my point from the beginning of this tragedy. Whether it drowned, beached itself or swam out to join the pod offshore, there would have been an attempt. You shouldn't be a rescue foundation if you don't even try. To garner support for your organization you have to do more than observe, take notes and assume the outcome.
By localwater (35), east hampton on Apr 10, 10 9:10 AM
If it was pulled out to sea and too weak to swim - it would have drowned. Not exactly a great way to go... or perhaps be eaten alive by Sharks.

That being said, I don't agree with darting it and shooting it - would have preferred they left it alone but dragging it out to sea would have accomplished nothing.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 10, 10 9:53 AM
100% correct. I know of at least 7 people who volunteered to don wetsuits and get nylon straps and attempt to pull this gentle giant out into deeper waters.
Like when Jack Nicholson tried to lift the sink up in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" . . His response to his vain attempt was, "Well at least I tried..."

At least he tried.
By BeachMuse (8), Southampton on Apr 12, 10 12:28 AM
Ha ha. That's funny stuff. Do you have any idea how many people with wetsuits it would take to drag a beached 30foot whale through surf and into deeper water? This is the same whale that the big front-end loader could not drag up the beach...and you want to "don wetsuits" and drag it with ropes? LOL.

This is great. Keep these great ideas coming people...I'm sure you have the solutions that the experts do not.
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 2:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
"Gently netted" ? Nets are meant to entangle. How do you get a 30 foot whale out of the net once it's in deeper water?
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 3:30 PM
People, people - it wasn't an illegal immigrant looking for freebies! That's why it was never given a chance. Maybe it was an American citizen and finally taxed to death. but in all seriousness - if the mother abandoned it, the baby whale was probably sick. ever see this with other animals such as cats and dogs when they give birth? Happens all the time.
By LovedHerTown (132), southampton on Apr 10, 10 9:36 AM
There was no evidence it was abandoned. There was an adult swimming offshore within the range of the location for the 1.5 hours I was there the first day that could have possibly been the mother. Drowning would have been the option and would have occurred much more swiftly and effectively rather than struggling for 85 hours (or longer if they hadn't ended its life) Nature isn't always kind. But to let "nature take its course" doesn't apply. As I have commented earlier: there are enough human caused ...more
By localwater (35), east hampton on Apr 10, 10 10:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
Working for NOAA right out of school you learn many things in addition to your book work. Having met Dr Moore several times at WHOI while doing some dophin work, I can surely attest that you NEED TO TRUST your professionals whose job it is to protect us as well as the whales/dolphins/pinnapeds/etc.
#1, not every animal you see should be saved- whales beach for a multitude of reasons, and in nearly every single case there is an underlying problem. This is no house kitty, a whale beacing is ...more
By WHB Realist (1), whb on Apr 10, 10 10:46 AM
2 members liked this comment
Yes, we can all tell that you've worked for NOAA and respect Dr. Moore. However it does not mean that this stranding was handled professionally and appropriately. As long as marine mammal stranded ALIVE every attempt should be made to save it UNLESS we know EXACT reason why whales and dolphins beach themselves. FYI, there is no consensus on the cause as of now, k?
Second, we are yet to know what conditions whales and dolphins have in a wild but still able to live and reproduce. Many might have ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 12:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
I too know Dr. Moore and respect him. However he was not there until Thursday/Friday. I agree with you that not every animal should or can be saved. I well know this as the Founder of the Stranding Program for New York many years ago. I have been there and done that. However, my comments and some of those here are regarding the mis-information promulgated and the harm that that did in the publics understanding of this event. Lets be clear this was a yearling whale past weaning and probably on its ...more
By ssadove (14), East Quogue on Apr 10, 10 8:40 PM
Thank you for contributing to this discussion and sharing your insights.

Typically, what criteria are used to determine that rescue would not be an option? Previous statistical outcomes seem to weigh heavily, but how is the overall condition of a stranded whale measured to make the decision?

The first moments/hours of any crisis are the most critical for hope of a successful outcome. Immediate care and action can mean the difference between life/death. Sometimes, there is truly ...more
By saveher (6), montauk on Apr 10, 10 11:19 PM
You are very correct that those working on the whale do have compassion. Kim, Rob and the various volunteers do this work because they are dedicated and concerned. That was the reason I hired and trained them back many years ago and they have it today. You are also correct in that in many ways thier hands are tied. Some by NMFS/NOAA and some by the Riverhead Foundation structure. Regardless the criteria are part of the problem here. NMFS/NOAA have created guidelines/rules that make it hard unless ...more
By ssadove (14), East Quogue on Apr 11, 10 11:48 AM
It's seems that these organizations responded to this beached whale within the same structural framework and protocols for which they are trained to respond to disaster/recovery situations -- which includes events such as earthquakes, severe storms, large scale disasters, etc., but likely not a stranded sea mammal. However, for the sake of consistency, they may deploy the same response structure/protocols here as well: Incident command, safety of the "rescuers" is paramount (which is truly understandable, ...more
By saveher (6), montauk on Apr 11, 10 1:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
The $, the manpower, the equipment was availale.
Science isn't exact. A common group of like-minded people could have come with a very creative way to right this situation.
This whale DID die, almost 84 hours later with the entire community watching.
Knowing someting about the tides and marine mammal behavior, particularly the timing ( after heavy storms and the sand bars and tidal pools were alplenty) this whale could have VERY possibly become disoriented in shallow water stuck behind ...more
By localwater (35), east hampton on Apr 12, 10 10:24 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you, Sam, for responding in such an articulate and professional manner...you are clearly more knowledgeable than all of the self-appointed experts combined. Many of us appreciate your intelligent, utterly sensible, sensitive comments.
By EQme (112), East Quogue on Apr 12, 10 8:54 PM
c'mon Sam, you're too kind...Mr. bowman was giidy to be in front of the cameras spouting his pseudo-credentials while the innocent calf endured days of suffering. New meaning to "the agony and the ecstasy"????? Rivehead Foundation has it's hands full with this debacle....you betcha!!
By EQme (112), East Quogue on Apr 12, 10 9:19 PM
Ridiculous. "Self-appointed experts"? Some of the leading scientists in the field were involved in this event and they are not self-appointed, they are appointed by their entire scientific community. All the people in this thread are in fact the "self-appointed experts". Spouting rhetoric and making conjectures about the condition of the animal, the motives and expertise of the people involved, etc. does not make you an expert. It in fact reduces the value of your opinion.
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 2:25 PM
I am struck by the "organic" metaphor of this baby whale dying on our beaches and the message it brings to us. If you remember a dead whale washed up on our shores when LIU was closed and now our new college, which we were so proud of and which many of us have found work at again, is dying in its infancy and the sea sends us its own dying infant... I am bereft for the mother of this baby whale, for our community who could not save it, and for our campus which seems cannot be saved. Where do we go ...more
By heatherdune (12), Hampton Bays on Apr 10, 10 11:13 AM
What are they doing right now is called DAMAGE CONTROL and rest assured they will succeed.

The only question I have is how do these people even dare to call themselves "experts"? What did they do for this whale based on their "expertise"? They shot it in a head 3 times. Now tell me how is it different from some average Joe standing behind the yellow tape handling this situation? EVERYBODY can shoot the whale in a head, YOU DO NOT NEED PHD training for that.

I think it is ironic ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 12:12 PM
2 members liked this comment
2008 Riverside foundation IRS 990 Form.
Goverment grants:500 K
Other grants:500 K
Salaries and wages: 350 K
Insurance, benefits: 50 K

Nice place to work, ha! Of course they do not have money to save 1 one whale...
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 1:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
Unfortunately what's done is done.Steps need to be taken to assure this never happens again.The only way change can occur is when people speak up.Remember the squeky wheel gets the oil.Don't stop until they change protocol.I'm sure there will be more incidents like this in the future. They need to be prepared(for rescue intervention not slaughter).There is no excuse for letting that animal suffer for days.There should of been an immediate decision on what they were going to do.If they knew they ...more
By transplanted newyorker (15), northeastkingdom on Apr 10, 10 1:14 PM
The sad thing is that nothing will change. If another big whale strand tomorrow it will be shot in a head too. What is needed is a big change of existing paradigm that a) single animals cannot be saved b) young animals cannot be saved c) big whales cannot be saved d) all whales stranded alive should be put down e) all live stranded animals are sick beyond help.

In recent stranding of white-sided dolphins in Cape Cod one of the released dolphins joined the bigger pod, which shows that even ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 1:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
New Scientist-- Maybe the people of East Hampton should set up their own marine foundation to deal with future incidents. Cut out the time-wasting middleman.
By Montaukette (46), Waterland on Apr 10, 10 1:15 PM
The most ironic thing that all "experts" were attending conference April 6-9 in West Virginia called "National Marine Animal Health & Stranding Network Conference" but all they could do for a whale was to shoot it in a head. With all that money spend on travel, accomodation and conference they should could have spared some cash to arlift the whale to some sort temporarly holding seapen with a false bottom. Shame on them!
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 1:27 PM
"...in West Virginia..."

West Viginia? Marine Animal? Kind of shows where their collective head is at.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Apr 10, 10 1:47 PM
Sounds like a pretty tough little whale to me. Four days - no food. Thrashed by waves for four days. Half a dozen or more tranquilizers over 48 hours. Surrounded by idiots for half a week. High powered rifle shots (an earlier report said three shots).

Tell me again how terrible it would have been to pull it off the beach the first day.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Apr 10, 10 1:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
Poor thing was probably very sick when it beached. It's not possible to treat such an enormous animal, certainly not around here. It would take a Sea World size tank to hold it. Towing it out to sea would only have resulted in its washing back ashore somewhere else. It's not surprising that a dart bounced off. Ever touched one of those animals? I have when one washed up a while back. They have very thick rubbery skin. Ever seen a large animal euthanised? It's not a simple matter. A horse requires ...more
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Apr 10, 10 2:21 PM
Please stop saying that whale was very sick. NOBODY knows why it stranded. Such assumptions are the root of the problem. Besides have you heard about baby grey whale rescue and release?
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 2:29 PM
By BeachMuse (8), Southampton on Apr 12, 10 12:29 AM

"Call or e-mail the Riverhead Foundation and ask for his resignation.
631-369-9840. Seems like Mr. Bowman says what is good at the time, not what is accurate. "
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 3:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
You can try Robert DiGiovanni - Director/ Senior Biologist rdigiovanni@riverheadfoundation.org
but I doubt he will listen either.
This is their website www.riverheadfoundation.org
Just look who are the board of directors, none have any relationship to marine science/conservation/environment. How are they getting 500 KI grants from goverment while being so grossly incompetent??? It looks like this non-rofit is not all about rescuing whales afterall...

The Board of Directors:

President: ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 4:16 PM
Right...the bigger the donations, the higher your status.
By EQme (112), East Quogue on Apr 12, 10 9:27 PM
Whales do not beach themselves without cause. This one was clearly sick and washed ashore because it was not strong enough to keep swimming. Towing it out to sea would not have been useful. The necropsy will determine what its problem was. They are extremely complete.
This whale was far larger than the Riverhead Foundation is capable of handling. It does a good job with seals and sea turtles.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Apr 10, 10 3:21 PM
You do not know what you're talking about and just repeat the line these "experts" are using like parrot-heads. Why whales strand is a big mystery and nobody knows the cause you are freely talk about here. The necropsy is COMPLETELY useless and will not tell you anything, mainly because nobody knows what conditions,parasitic load and other abnormalities whales have who live in the wild. They will give you some BS explanation and you will eat it up without questioning.
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 4:04 PM
Total misinformation. Why SOME whales strand is a mystery. There are countless known causes and countless successful necropsies that pinpointed the cause of stranding/death. Besides, the only way to learn those things which you refer to such as "parasite loads and other abnormalities" is to do the necropsies. Perhaps you think medical examiners just magically know how to open up humans and find out cause of death? Or perhaps it happens because many dead humans have been examined.
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 3:33 PM
Oh really? Why don't elucidate us here and tell us the exact reason(s) why whales and dolphins mass strand alive? To the best of my knowledge there is NO one theory which explains all mass strandings. In addition, even though you find something such as ear worms and lung worms and other things it DOES not necessarily mean that whales cannot survive with these conditions in the wild. We simply do not know what do they have out there, k?
I am not talking here about stranded bottlenose dolphins ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 3:45 PM
I never said anything about mass strandings, and if you read my response you will see I said we find causes of SOME strandings. Never did I say we can explain ALL strandings. Not sure what you're arguing there. Anyway that's a pointless conversation because this was not a mass stranding. But since you ask, there have been numerous reasons implicated including phocine and cetacean distemper virus (morbillivirus), harmful algal blooms (e.g. brevetoxicosis and domoic acid), ensonification, etc. ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 6:39 PM
This was not a mass stranding because:
a) Humpbacks are not as social as pilot whales for example
b) It was not a dependent calf

But the reason for that whale's stranding might have been the same as in some mass stranding. In mass stranding some members of the pod are clearly following the affected individuals, hence the mass stranding. There was no one to follow this whale, although there have been reports of another humpback in the area and even a dolphin.
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 6:48 PM
It's amazing that we are involved in multiple wars, corrupt government and illegal immigrants, yet the big story is how to treat a dying animal. Are people living in the real world?
By TheGoodLife (43), Westhampton Beach on Apr 10, 10 5:05 PM
It is amazing how some people are so twisted that they turn every story upside-down to remind us of their pissing agenda. If you cannot read, this story is not about illegal immigration, k? It has nothing to do with illegal immigration nor with wars. This is a story about the whale and how it was mistreated and killed.
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 5:16 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By uncleronk (136), southold on Apr 10, 10 5:30 PM
This story is titled "Whale killed with bullet; experts defend how beaching was handled". Since it involved a Federal Agency and local government it is political.
By TheGoodLife (43), Westhampton Beach on Apr 10, 10 5:51 PM
The only thing that Bowman said throughout this fiasco which resonated with any shred of truth is, "Of course, that's all speculation on my part."

Sadly, the whole thing was handled with speculation. Speculation and fear of getting their pants wet. I've never seen anything like it in my life.

This beautiful creature washed onto our shore and needed our help. Instead, the "team" responding speculated and decided on that FIRST day that this it was "not a candidate to be saved"! ...more
By saveher (6), montauk on Apr 10, 10 5:56 PM
Unfortunately this story is not just one isolated incident. Same thing happened with beaked whales: mom and baby where Noaa and yet again so-called "rescue" (MARS) killed both whales in August 2009. The process actually started when both whales were in water. It was horrible to watch. First the chase the pair with jet skies trying to get to shore. Then when two whales stranded they just dragged mom back and forth without covering her blowhole, so she drowned. Then they put baby to sleep. There ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 6:17 PM
Ignorant! Pneumonia is different from aspiration of water. Pneumonia is caused by an inflammatory response to organisms (viruses, bacteria, etc.) and is a chronic finding. If you're going to criticize, do it correctly.

And what is your suggestion for rehabilitating a beaked whale that spends ~98% of its life at depth feeding on deep sea squid? One that dives for 90minutes. Keep it in a pool? You consider that humane?

LOL..."all parties involved have lucrative jobs" ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 2:33 PM
No, you are ignorant! Pneumonia INCLUDES water in lungs! In case you do not know in many stranding cases whales/dolphins often have water in their lungs and also often vomit, which explains empty stomach.

Beaked whale rehabilitation will not take YEARS of keeping the whale in a pool. In addition recent successful release of stranded dolphins in Cape Cod demonstrated that even a single animal can find and join the pod. In addition beaked whale necropsy was not made public, which always very ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 2:43 PM
Ha ha. CDC definition of pneumonia "is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages."

I do have ties to the industry which is why this is infuriating. The fact that you assume I am elitist without knowing anything about me exemplifies all the jumping to conclusions you have been making. I merely w

As for looking for ear/hearing trauma, I suspect you are referring to sonar related damage which is poorly understood and documented. I ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 3:42 PM
I see what you have ties to the industry and this is also infuriating. So here you go, this is a definition of pneumonia from the University of Virginia: http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/uvahealth/adult_respire/pneumoni.cfm

"Other less common pneumonias may be caused by the inhaling of food, liquid, gases or dust, or by fungi."

This is EXACTLY what happened with mama beaked whale on that beach. I watched on TV with HORROR how MARS "volunteers" and "experts" were rolling poor ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 3:58 PM
This definition you mention is called aspiration pneumonia and is a chronic event. Aspiration of water that causes "drowning" or acute respiratory compromise which II think is what you are suggesting, does NOT cause pneumonia. That's a completely different set of findings and would likely not have been called pneumonia but rather either pulmonary edema or aspirated water.
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 6:45 PM
Well we will never know the exact definition they used, these beaked whales' necropsy results are "classified" as CIA files, why can't they be LESS secretive about it and :
a) Allow several organization to do INDEPENDENT necropsy
b) Publish detailed necropsy for all to see
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 6:52 PM
This we can agree on, though I'm not sure that once they are completed they will not be available to you. I do not know that they are being secretive with them, though they may be waiting for diagnostics to be completed before releasing them.
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 14, 10 8:26 AM
Check out what the Whale Center of New England director is saying on Riverhead Foundation facebook page. Unbelievable!

By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 7:19 PM
Necropsy is completed. Baby whale was fine. Oh, no! So they just killed perfectly healthy animal. Who will answer for this? Nobody! What did we learn from it? Nothing. Another humpback will strand tomorrow, what will we do? Same thing! All in vain....

By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 7:38 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Apr 10, 10 8:29 PM
First, you do not know who we are and it is none of your business.
Second, take your own advice:"Dude, you seriously should get help"
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 8:34 PM
Well the whale is dead and off the beach, euthanasia done with a rifle after 4 days, and now we have a dart floating around. I am well aware that Riverhead will not have necropsy results for some time. I only hope in the interest of future events and support that they will release those results and the raw data when they get them. Then we may all be able to see what the situation was. This whole thing has been a representation of how not to handle an event. I am not just talking about the animal ...more
By ssadove (14), East Quogue on Apr 10, 10 9:09 PM
Watch how humpback baby whale can be REALLY rescued, Canadians are not sissies like Riverhead foundation scared of even getting closer to the whale. It also shows what public can do when no pseudo-experts blocking all attempts to help.

By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 10, 10 9:45 PM
Great video! Thanks.
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Apr 12, 10 3:34 PM
Seems that the Riverhead center has rec'd US gov't grant funds to the tune of $100gs in 2009 for Operational Support to Enhance Resources for Response, Treatment, and Data Collection from Living and Dead Stranded Marine Mammals Recovered in New York State

Almost one million $ from the feds in fact, if you do the math, through the Prescott Grant since 2001

What is the Prescott Grant program of NOAA?
The ...more
By licfa (15), Montauk on Apr 11, 10 12:12 AM
The daily tabloid to the west is reporting that the missing dart has not been found.

Regarding the post-mortem of the dead whale "Montauk," are they going to preserve the spinal column? Is it possible that the whale (due to being beached for days and shoved around in the surf) suffered a spinal column problem, which led to its inability to swim on its own back out to sea?

If the necropsy is negative for other causes of death, the spinal column might be crucial evidence? All the ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 11, 10 9:56 AM
Do not worry; nobody is going to answer for this. All parties involved are the same people who are dealing with endangered species aka NOAA. Riverhead Foundation gets grants from NOAA, aka Prescott Grant. If necropsy will be released it will be inconclusive and the story will be forgotten 2 weeks from now. Several months later another humpback will strand and will be dealt with the same way.

Nobody knows why whales strand, why only certain species strand, what causes strandings and whether ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 11, 10 10:27 AM
3 members liked this comment
A new article was filed here last night regarding the still-missing dart. See link above.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 11, 10 1:27 PM
he was still alive so long... I wonder why? ... what Idiots! After they shoot him to death, they're taking blood samples to determine the cause. There must have been other reasons this baby humpback shored, of which they didn't feel were worth investigating. AND they shot it with medical darts and DIDN'T think of the RISK it would bounce and be swallowed up by the waves, and lost in the ocean to potentially kill swimmers... what Idiots! Figure the amount of Anesthesia needed for a whale... and a ...more
By guestNC (2), Cary on Apr 12, 10 2:06 AM
If...“That opportunity simply was not there given the size of the animal.” then why does the Riverhead Foundation summarize their work on their Facebook page as such:

The Riverhead Foundation is a not for profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of seals, sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
By guestNC (2), Cary on Apr 12, 10 2:20 AM
The reason for that is these “rescues” are only saying they are dedicated to rescue and rehab , in reality they are just another business operation. And it is popular because public loves marine mammals. Here is another story. Two beaked whales (mom and baby) stranded in Florida (Aug.2009).

MARS non-profit was on the scene along with NOAA. Mars website states:
“Thank you for your interest in the Marine Animal Rescue Society ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 12, 10 8:48 AM
Clearly you know and understand more than the scientists and veterinarians involved. They are idiots and you're a rocket surgeon. What arrogance
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 2:49 PM
Clearly you feel you are above all these people discussing the murder here. In fact you sound EXACTLY as one of these "experts". You are NOT interested in any solutions, you will continue to shot whales in a head many years from now. The only way to change the situation is FIRST to recognize that what stranding responders are doing with large whales or even small dolphins IS WRONG. But you, of course will never admit YOU do something wrong, since you are an "experts" the truth bearer. I think that ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 2:59 PM
Once again jumping to conclusion. On the contrary, I don't think this was handled optimally, but I'm not prepared to start making heads role for the simple fact that we don't understand much about these animals. You are the one who claims to know exactly what should have been done.
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 6:48 PM
What I am calling for here is a change in existing paradigm. As of now NOBODY even thinks that large whales can be saved and rehabilitated. In all interviews NOAA and other "experts" say how young animals cannot survive, how big whales cannot be saved, how not to push animals back to the sea. WHY nobody talks about rescue, rehab and release of LARGE GREY WHALE CALF??? Why nobody talks about numerous examples when animals were put back to sea and who did not restrand?
Everyone with a drop of ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 7:04 PM
In my humble opinion, this is a much more reasonable comment (more so than just attacking the people trying to help in a difficult situation) and should be a topic of discussion. I think the logistics of rehabing a large whale are likely much more than almost anyone is willing to settle for. I can almost guarantee that if you told most people it could require hundreds of thousands of dollars to rehab a single whale (if it were even possible for LARGE whale species to be rehabed), they would most ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 14, 10 8:35 AM
1. I have numerous examples of big whales rescued: JJ, young humpback in Canada, one in Asia (who was given antibiotics and released) and many others I just do not have time to dig it up in my database.
2. You are right, we know nothing about released whales, but JJ was sighted many years after her release and she was a calf when she stranded. So if we do not know anything about released whales there is 50/50 chance that they have survived, so take your pick. Mine is that they did.
3. In ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 14, 10 9:49 AM
Taken from the Whale Center of New England website: "Baleen whales are less social than toothed whales and are generally found by themselves or in very small groups. They are unlikely to follow or assist another animal (except in the case of a mother with her calf); therefore, they do not strand together. Most often baleen whales that beach are already seriously injured or sick and returning them to sea would only lead to re-stranding. Occasionally, healthy baleen whales, most often young, inexperienced ...more
By localwater (35), east hampton on Apr 12, 10 10:50 AM
You know this is really funny, because the Executive director of WCNE Mason Weinrich posted on Rivershead Foundation's facebook page the following message:" Kudos to all of you at Riverhead for everything you did this week in a terrible situation. As someone who has worked with humpbacks for 30+ years, and the head of a stranding response organization for 10+ years, I know that every move you made for this animal was the right one. We'll all learn and benefit from your e...xperience, and I hope ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 12, 10 2:39 PM
Click the link and scroll down a bit to see some incredible photos of this beautiful whale. http://wildlongisland.blogspot.com/
By saveher (6), montauk on Apr 12, 10 1:11 PM
2 members liked this comment
I think they took down the article which was talking about initial necropsy results, hmmm....
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 12, 10 4:40 PM
"9 whales are rescued and released in Fiji. Villagers got together and returned 9 whales to the sea. No NOAA, no "nonprofits", no "experts". Job is done by people who have no agenda and just wanted to help poor whales. Why are poor villagers able to do what 10 PhDs and dozens of "experts" are not?

By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 12, 10 6:34 PM

By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 12, 10 6:37 PM
Amazing! I keep checking Riverhead Foundation facebook page and some people there say their comments were deleted and their accounts were disabled by Riverhead Foundation because they posted their disapproval of their handling of the stranding situation. How could non-profit do that? Are they suppose to be “transparent”???

By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 12, 10 10:51 PM
Hopefully Thursday's article will contain all the details, including more quotes from the shooter. Ms. Geismar and the weekend reporters have done a great job covering this circus. Kudos to them and to the editors for the daily coverage. The print edition this week will be a collector's item -- they better increase the press run!

That's the good news.

Does it need to be repeated that this has been a circus of historic proportions? The East End will be most curious to hear the results ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 13, 10 1:42 PM
When did everyone become a whale expert? Where is all this environmental conviction when it's time to vote? Where is it when you're called on to live a less destructive life style? I'm curious, how many of you would give up NFL to save the whales? How many would sacrifice your SUV to save 1 whale? How many would settle for just 2 options of yogurt on the store shelf?

Watching "Whale Wars" on TV and spouting some rhetoric make neither an environmental activist, nor a whale lover. ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 1:55 PM
You are wrong! There were people on that beach willing to go to the water and help that whale. Second, this is very COMMON misconception that nonprofits are "scrapping by" and do all that they can. Sure some nonprofits are ethical and do everything right. But it is not always the case. Riverhead Foundation is not "scrapping by", they received at least 1 mln in grants in 2008 and the majority of their work is done by unpaid volunteers. They do not even have permanent vets on staff, they use 2 vets ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 2:19 PM
Of course. You're right and anyone who disagrees is wrong. Whatever Riverhead may have gotten in grants does not go to making the volunteers or employees rich. I have no doubt that it goes to supporting the foundation. Running a stranding program is very costly.

Curious. What exactly were you going to do to help the whale once you got in the water? Lasso the 30ft whale and drag it into deeper water? The same whale that a heavy-duty front end loader could not budge? Just how strong ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 2:43 PM

In case you ignored it. Also there was successful rescue of baby grey whale in California, why are you not talking about that? The problem was that whale was icorrectly labeled as "baby" by ignorant "experts" on the scene from there it just went downhill. Also, the rescue operation was never considered by so-called "experts". If you really are affiliated with marine mammals rescue, rehab and science it is just plain sad how you are attacking ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 2:51 PM
Is that what this is about? That they put yellow tape and didn't ask for your advice? Any of you who feel this was some power trip are sorely mistaken. No one gets into the marine mammal stranding business does it for the power or the wealth. The yellow tape was there to stop people like you from jumping in the water "to help" and injuring yourselves. In other cases its there to stop the public from hurting the animal. I distinctly remember a good Samaritan trying to help a stranded dolphin ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 3:27 PM
In an effort to spread facts and not lies/misinformation, it was not the Riverhead Foundation who shot the whale in the head, nor did they have any say in the matter. NOAA - aka, the federal government - made the decision.

Newsday has a wonderfully thorough article in their paper today about the situation, the players, and the decisions that were made.

Do I agree with everything that was done? No. Do I think it went swimmingly (no pun intended)? No. But it seems from the Newsday ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 13, 10 3:32 PM
NOAA would not get involved had Riverhead handle the stranding by themselves. NOAA only comes in when local rescue is incapable of handling the situation.
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 4:00 PM
No it is not just about yellow tape. It is about unethical nonprofit grabbing money, yet failing to deliver when it is REALLY needed. You are in this industry, do you REALLY believe that if another nonprofit showed up on that beach on April 6 and said let us handle this we know what to do they would have been allowed to do so? Please!

Please let me remind you that Prescott grant is sucked dry by numerous nonprofits around the country. Riverhead alone got 800 K since 2001. And I do not even ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 4:16 PM
Another non-profit wouldn't have showed up, because there is only one in NYS. Too my knowledge, I don't think there can be another one (there may be federal guidelines # of rescuers/rehabbers in a state or given area, I could be wrong though). Furthermore, it wouldn't be necessary - NYS had an excellent one, and even if you think it's not excellent, changes can be made to make it excellent. Also, I believe members from CT's rescue/rehab facility did show up to assist.

It would not be ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 13, 10 9:44 PM
Ok, you win. Everything was done by the book. Riverhead Foundation is the best rescue on Earth. Carry on as you clearly refuse to see what happened. What you are doing is called RATIONALIZATION and it will allow you to justify anything. As long as you and others involved refuse to admit they screw up big time nothing will ever change.

"It would not be ... more fiscally sound to have a facility (on the East and/or West Coast) that can take in whales up to the size of a full Humpback due ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 10:06 PM
I never said this was done by the book, or done properly. Riverhead Foundation is proficient at rescuing seals and sea turtles, and should not be used as a scape goat because of this incident. It's a shame that they would get a black eye because of this - can you imagine if someone finds a seal or sea turtle in need of help and they don't call the Riverhead Foundation because of what they read about them in regards to the failed Whale rescue? Would you call them if you found an injured seal on ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 13, 10 10:30 PM
Here is youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXvlYY11B9g)about JJ. It is a bit cheesy and promoting Sea World but it shows how she was transported, fed, released, etc. When she was found her condition was much worse than of "Montauk" and her prognosis was really bad. She spent 13 months in captivity and Sea world got all their money back. But when she was released she was the exact size of that humpback- 30 ft long, etc. She WAS transported, just watch the video it can be done. Of course ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 10:49 PM
NOAA was called as soon as Riverhead arrived on the scene and assessed the situation because the strnaded whale was a federally endangered Humpback Whale which means the Federal government must assume lead agency.

Riverhead handles seal and dolphin and turtle strandings because they are not federally endangered species (though they are all federally *protected* species).

Please, stop spreading lies and misinformation. It makes you look ignorant and is a diservice to the volunteers ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 13, 10 4:06 PM
Riverhead states on their website that
"Riverhead Foundation is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of seals, sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and porpoises"

They should take the word "whales" out because this is desinformation.
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 4:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
Again, NOAA was called because it was a Humpback Whale. Not all whales are federally endangered species.

Furthermore, Riverhead Foundation does help with the rescue and rehab of whale species, even if its as simple as answering questions, taking down observations, providing equipment etc.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 13, 10 4:24 PM
Sorry but in part you are incorrect. Riverhead Holds the LOA (Letter of Authorization) from NMFS/NOAA and New York State has a section 6 agreement under the ESA. This agreement gives the State the authority to desigante an agency or individual to act as Lead. In the case of ALL stranded marine mammals and sea turtles in New York this is the RIverhead Foundation. Please also be aware that sea turtles are also Federally listed Endangered species. So although the Feds usually are techincally the "Lead ...more
By ssadove (14), East Quogue on Apr 13, 10 10:24 PM
Thank you Sam for clarifying and helping me and all of us better understand how this situation works. I was unaware that ALL of the turtle species are federally endangered and the exact protocol. Regardless, the Riverhead Foundation was not in charge and did not make the end decision, and I am in agreement that Rob and Kim should not come out of this with a black eye.

By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 13, 10 10:41 PM
They are now called SAs (Stranding Agreements) not LOAs and employees of state agencies in the course of their job duties are authorized to respond under what's called the 109h clause and do not require an SA. Nonetheless, I think you would be hard-pressed to find an example where an SA holder or state agency acted on its own with respect to a large whale stranding event without the expressed consent or against the direction of the federal government (these days, not 20 years ago). I no nothing ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 14, 10 2:48 PM
According to the daily tabloid to our west, the seventy-three year-old retired veterinarian who fired the fatal shots had never been called upon to kill a live whale with a rifle.

The third shot appears NOT to have killed "Montauk" so:

"A few minutes later, scientists determined it was safe to approach the whale, and administered a lethal injection of phenobarbital."

My goodness, is this entire effort the best we could do?

It might have been more humane to call ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 13, 10 6:14 PM
Can you imagine what this animal went through? I am speechless.....
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 6:41 PM
Look new scientist,

I am not looking to get into a pissing match with you. I just want to highlight a couple of key points,.

1) Rescue of a large whale is not simple. It should and IS treated as a case by case situation.
2) We know and understand very little about all large whale species
3) Though there may be some corrupt people in the network, there are no more (and instead likely fewer) than in most businesses. Attacking the people in the trenches, the ones who ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 13, 10 6:29 PM
Well you were pretty pissed when you came here accusing people for not being "experts" yet daring to talk about this stranding. But you are right, this is not a pissing match.

I will also highlight a couple of points:
1. Although rescue of a large whale is not simple it can be done and it was done.
2. We know and understand very little about large whale species because we rush to euthanize them on the spot without even TRYING to help. If we never try we will never learn how they ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 7:13 PM

I am curious to know what you think of this possible option after our East End whale Montauk foundered on the beach:

"No human action."
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 13, 10 7:15 PM
Non-Profits, by nature, don't "make" any money.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 13, 10 7:52 PM
350 000 USD in salaries plus 50 K in insurance how is it not making money???
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 13, 10 8:09 PM
"A non-profit organization is an organization that does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders"

I know you are smart enough to understand what a non-profit is. Those in charge of the Riverhead Foundation are not making money. Atlantis Marine World, on the other hand, *is* a for-profit enterprise, with their owners taking home big paychecks.

A large majority of NPO's pay at least a handful of employees. It is near impossible (especially in a relatively low-population ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 13, 10 8:14 PM
I think that had the euthanasia been more successful (as in certain other cases), many of the critics here would have been happy with it as a viable alternative to letting it get thrashed around by the surf. No human action would likely mean that the animal died even slower, getting progressively more sun and wind burned and succumbing to gradual respiratory distress from resting on a rib cage not designed to support that much weight out of water.

I think "No human action" is an alternative, ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 14, 10 8:00 AM
1) Rescue of large whales can SOMETIMES be done and success of past ones is at times debatable since there has rarely been any short or long term tracking of the animal to find out how long it lived.

2) Agreed. We know very little. People (including some of those involved) do try to help some. Others which they deem necessary they do not. If the resources (funds, facilities, knowledge) are not available, what you call "trying to help" may in fact translate to allowing an animal to ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 14, 10 12:16 PM
I think we're faced with a little editorializing from the headline writers. Why are we calling them "experts" when the assumption that they know what they are doing is in contention.
By BobbyH (44), Southampton/NYC on Apr 13, 10 10:25 PM
Not a constructive comment.

These people are trying to use other animal models from domestic mammals and wildlife experiences to extrapolate what the pharmacokinetics of the various drugs would be in a 30foot whale. From there they must decide how to deliver enough of the drugs to a massive animal with very thick blubber and muscle, to a location that will not be isolated from circulation (because part of their diving physiology is to shut down peripheral circulation to conserve oxygen ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 14, 10 8:22 AM
First why do we need to develop efficient euthanasia technique when we have to focus on understanding what makes whales strand and what can be done to help them survive the ordeal?

Second, yes we do know that dealing with large whales is difficult and we respect people who do that (but Riverhead foundation is not even near such work). Having said that it is your chosen career and paramedics and firefighters usually do not brag about the situations they have to work in.

We all want ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 14, 10 10:06 AM
1) You said a few posts ago that necropsies were useless. Now you want to focus on understanding what makes whales strand. Are you aware of diagnostic technique other than necropsy or are you contradicting yourself?

2) Once again (that makes at least 4 times now) you jump to conclusions. I never "bragged" as you so nicely put it. I was not speaking about myself, since I am not the one on the high seas trying to cut entangled whales loose from fishing gear. I was speaking of the ...more
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 14, 10 12:00 PM
1. Necropsies have to be taken with a grain of salt, because:
a) we do not know what conditions animals have in the wild yet still being able to survive, reproduce and basically not die.
b) not every necropsy specifically looks for the hearing damage or evidence of bends in fats, tissue and organs.
c) not all necropsies specifically distinguish between pre-existing conditions which animals had before strandings and the by-products of the actual stranding event. For example, many animals ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 14, 10 7:35 PM
One more thing I forgot to mention. It has to be recognized that live strandings are extremely stressful for animals. When whales/dolphins spotted near the shore the intervention has to start there (BEFORE they strand). Many animals die because of stress of stranding. It has to be recognized that intervention has to start asap, with every passing minute animal's chances to recover diminish, because stress of stranding not only represents a threat by itself but also worsens any pre-existing conditions ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 14, 10 8:16 PM
The story in Newsday (the daily tabloid to the west to at least one poster even though it's on store shelves in Montauk and home delivered all over the east end) ran two pages but was quite thin in some information. It indicated those on the scene reported an assessment to those at the conference in West Virginia (why there?) who made the decision that death was the only viable outcome.

What it didn't say was WHO was on the scene, WHAT were their credentials? WHY they made some apparent ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Apr 14, 10 12:03 AM
You are correct the information was relay by those on scene, Mr Bowman and the Riverhead volunteers. Realize these volunteers are very hard working and dedicated but not trained and not competant to make those kinds of assessments. The decision of death was made on poor information at best as we can all see that Mr. bowmans statements over the first two days were incorrect at best. More qualified personnel were available but not utilized, no one called me or Even Dr. Kopelman of CRESLI. Yes changes ...more
By ssadove (14), East Quogue on Apr 14, 10 8:06 AM
They were in West Virginia because they were attending National Marine Animal Health & Stranding Network Conference, how ironic is that ?

It is going to be the cover up, as usual. The damage control is in full swing everywhere. You asked where do we go from here. I say nowhere; just read the comments of "Whale" somebody in the industry and also what director of the Whale center of New England posted on Riverhead Foundation facebook page. People keep rationalizing what they have done, but ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 14, 10 8:17 AM
A friend of mine had the (one of the) honors of being present, as a marine biologist at the scene... She said he had no chance, as all three of his stomachs were empty...

We dispose of our metal ships, even war tanks, for artificial reefs in the ocean.. We can't bring out a lump of chum for disposal? Sharks/everything would have torn it to shreds in a matter of a days...

A prime example of how headless all of our DEC, Town Boards, Trustees, etc are... How about they leave the ...more
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Apr 14, 10 9:28 AM
Baleen whales can live for quite some time on their blubber stores, as is seen in North Atlantic Right Whales that don't eat anything during the migration and stay from northern feeding grounds to the southern calving grounds off of Georgia/North Florida. I don't think empty stomachs are that meaningful.
By whale (25), Gainesville on Apr 14, 10 11:42 AM
I agree.

Whale, I have read your comments and you make some cogent points. I do not know if you had the opportunity to see this whale in the earlier time frame of its stranding. Many here did. I am no expert, self-proclaimed or otherwise, and cannot speak for anyone else buy myself, so here goes:

It is a natural human instinct to want to help a creature in need, particularly when it is a matter of life and death. This whale was beached on a beautiful, warmish, sunny day. It was ...more
By saveher (6), montauk on Apr 14, 10 9:36 PM
Your first two points are excellent.

Your third point makes no sense. The highway yard is "under 5 feet of water" because it was constructed decades ago in a low lying area directly adjacent to freshwater wetlands . There is a drainage area along North Sea Rd. which collects water and does what it is supposed to do, but currently the water table is at record highs in many areas of Long Island (North Sea I'm sure is no exception) and as such there is no where for the water to go. Eventually ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 14, 10 9:59 AM
Press Conference

"...from an ethical and humane stands...that calf, that animal came to the beach for a reason....and so without knowing why it is there and addressing that reason pulling it out and putting it back in water is really delaying that inevitable...so you might be...by doing that causing its suffering to actually extent"

Jamison Smith, NOAA representative

So to answer this I would say:

"From an ethical and humane stands by doing nothing for 3 days, ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 14, 10 7:05 PM
new scientist,

Thank you for your interest in this situation, and your informed posts.

Is your quote from the "Press Conference" above accurate? It appears to have a number of typographical errors.

Also, what press conference are you referencing? Could you please post a URL link?

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 14, 10 7:15 PM
Scroll this page up, there is a video. This quote is from there, towards the end of the video. I just wrote it down as he talked, sorry for possible typos.
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 14, 10 7:42 PM
Please copy and paste the URL here.

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 14, 10 8:04 PM
It's highly probable that NOAA was involved in the dolphin stranding in MA.

Also, as I have previously stated, you cannot compare a 30' humpback whale in relatively rough surf in April on Long Island to unknown species of whales in a tropical area that were likely stranded for tidal reasons (inferred from the very limited information in that article)

Again, I do agree changes should be made, and this wasn't doing properly, but it doesn't do any good compare a dolphin rescue in ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 14, 10 8:06 PM
1) Noaa was NOT involved in MA stranding, everything was handled by IFAW

2) You do not know why humpback stranded either
3) All examples are highly relevant because they demonstrate that NOT ALL ANIMALS THAT STRAND ARE EXTREMELY SICK and that releases after stabilization or in some cases by moving animals to different ...more
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 14, 10 8:29 PM
ok, here you go:

By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 14, 10 8:33 PM
Thank you new scientist for the link.

I am not sure what point you were trying to make, but in my opinion this might be a good time to take a deep breath and get a good night's sleep.

"Montauk" has gone to bed.

Good night, as well.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 14, 10 9:15 PM
Article updated about the missing dart:


Interesting quote:

"It’s literally looking for a needle in a haystack,” said Trevor Spradlin, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. “If it sank and washed out to sea, it’s gone. If it floated, it could be washed up in the surf or floating out at sea. There’s not a tracking device on it. The fact that it hasn’t turned up in the past 72 ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 14, 10 7:38 PM

"East End Stranded Ocean Life Rescue Team"

From the Sag Harbor weekly paper.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 14, 10 7:42 PM
Does anybody have any video recording of the whale? There have been numerous reports of her making sounds constantly, these sounds can be distress calls, since humpbacks are very vocal and their "normal" calls are well known and studied. Her calls might also indicate what condition she was in and help us to understand what happened to her.
Please let me know. Thanks!
By new scientist (68), Clearwater on Apr 14, 10 8:37 PM
Well, I would again like to echo that I believe all the people involved in this care about animals. They cared about this whale. They, even more than the people standing on the beach, were right there the WHOLE time and probably feel the closest connection to it.

They know more and do more to help than any of the random carping people on the beach wanting to put the whale back into the surf.

that being said, that these people are "experts" is a matter on opinion. It's NOT fact. ...more
By BobbyH (44), Southampton/NYC on Apr 14, 10 11:49 PM