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Speaking the Language of Whales

Posted on May 19, 2007
AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach

Whale tales:  Bernie Krause says he’s able to communicate to leviathans such as this humpback, waving its tail at nearby whale watchers.

“Whale whisperer” Bernie Krause is attempting to save an injured mother humpback whale and her calf near Sacramento, Calif., where they hit a dead end in the San Jose River Delta.  Krause is talking to the whales using recordings of humpback calls—a strategy he used before to successfully reroute a wayward whale.

Los Angeles Times:

On Friday, Krause and a team of scientists tried, for the second straight day, to reprise that success. But the two whales weren’t taking the bait.

“The animals are just not responding,” Krause said. “It might be from the noise of the boats or aircraft flying overhead or from the effects of their injuries. We just don’t know.”

Humphrey spent 26 days wandering inland waters, but experts worry that the mother and her calf don’t have that much time.

Although the adult humpback’s wounds are not life-threatening, officials aren’t so sure about the calf, which they believe was nursing when the propeller struck the pair.

The whales’ injuries have added pressure and drama to the rescue effort as dozens of reporters wait for updates near the Port of Sacramento and hundreds of onlookers watch from a nearby levee.

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By Tod Page, May 22, 2007 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush whisperer? I think that is a great point except he already has 2….. Cheney and Rove. At least we know he responds to such things….now what?

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 20, 2007 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

While we’re pre-occupied with one or two whales, don’t forget that there are those who would still destroy their habitat in Alaska completely with devastating consequences -

As a species, we humans should perhaps “sweep our own doorsteps” first as regards our lack of compassion for each other and our unwillingness to go out of our way to help each other.

Once we have done that in our foreign and domestic policies for a few centuries, we would find that most of the other problems have solved themselves. Helping a lost or sick whale would then be the only job for a navy.

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By JohnDWoodSr, May 20, 2007 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

I hope Krause succeeds in luring the whales into the deep ocean. If it works, maybe a “Bush whisperer” can be found to do the same thing.

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By Walker - Texas Stranger, May 20, 2007 at 2:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yo! Whale Whisperers

(Wut kind ah Commie Liberal name is THAT???  That ain’t in th Bible.)
We done need these single parent types swimmin into our country pretendin to be IN-jured un helpless.  Ah have informalized the YOU NAH-ted State Navy to torpeadofy any illegal AY-liens.  Last thing we need is for Mu-tha nature to think we’ve gone soft on My-gray-tion…or…Immigration.

My Vice PRES-i-dent Dick Cheney tells me he and his “Little Fat Buddies” would be happy to gun down this mother and her baby CAFF.  Hell, they even throw in a beach BAR-ba-cue.  Now that’s wut Ah call a Amer-I-can hospital-i-zation.

Whale Whisperizers - Shi-oot!!  That’s gut t’ be some queer COMMIE Liberal.  And tell yur fat fish and her kid to haul their be-HIND to Canada or Russia.  She probably don’t even BE-lieve in our lord the saviour. Gu-odless heathens - We don’t need their kind in our town. 

Gu-od Bless
Rancho Honcho

ps. Change yur name buddy or Dick Cheney and his Boys are coming for Ya.

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By Hammo, May 19, 2007 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

Has anyone thought of asking the Navy to bring in some of their specially-trained dolphins, sea lions, beluga whales and other marine mammals for communications purposes?

The Navy has been working with these marine mammals in very sophisticated operations and missions for several decadess.

For more on this, see:

“Navy dolphins may be deployed: Did secret ESP research involve them?” (

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By QuyTran, May 19, 2007 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

Let Karl Rove do it !

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