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San Francisco Humpback Whales Make Happy Headlines

Posted by Kyle Design on May 30, 2007

Good news this morning in the San Francisco Bay Area as the mother Humpback whaleMother Humback Whale and Calf Magnet Clip and calf have made it back into the salty water of the S.F. bay after two weeks of wandering the Carquinez Straight and the upper Delta. These international stars have been making headlines with their twists and turns throughout their 90 miles of travels past Rio Vista and on up to near the port of Sacramento in the North. They have been a tourist magnet with whale watchers lining the waterways and delighting in each sighting.

Things were not looking good for the pair late last week. Both whales have gashes, believed to be from propellers or boat keels, that were not healing properly in the fresh water of the upper delta. Scientists were able to inject them with antibiotics on Saturday with the hopes it would help the gashes heal, and they were indeed looking better yesterday.

The whales have been stuck in the Delta because they seemed afraid of swimming back under bridges, perhaps due to the noise or the vibrations, and often turned north again away from the ocean just before each one. There are four bridges the whales traveled under to reach Rio Vista – the Golden Gate (between San Francisco and Marin County), the Richmond bridge (between Richmond and San Rafael), the Carquinez (between Vallejo and Crockett) and the Benicia bridge (between Benicia and Martinez). There had been talk of closing the bridges as the whales neared in hopes of encouraging them to swim back under, but in the end they braved them on their own.

Many methods were attempted to get the whales to return to the oceanHumpback Whale Tape Measures including squirting them with fire hoses and using dissonant sounds, but they didn’t work. Others asked about airlifting them out, as is sometimes done to move much smaller animals, but the mother whale measures about 45 feet long and weighs 45 tons, so this was never really an option. The whale calf is about 20 feet long as well.

The whales are now within about 8 miles of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean and seemed to enjoy playing in the San Francisco Bay late Tuesday afternoon. It is hoped they will soon leave the Bay and join other whales feeding off the Farallon Islands. Humpback whales are an endangered species with only about 1,200 belonging to the California-Mexico population.

The Whale Magnet and Whale Tape Measure above are from the Kyle Design Whale Gifts and Decor collection. Please visit for more fresh gift ideas for whale watchers.

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