Hugh Bollinger
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Whale sightings

Gray whales were nearly hunted to extinction during the whaling days of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Their recovery off the West Coast is a good thing and sightings are more common from a robust population now. Typically, whales are not seen swimming in rivers but a gray whale mother and her calf decided to swim up the the Klamath River in northern California anyway. It's a mystery why the whales decided to go up river. Maybe they were trying to escape from a killer whale (orca) attack, maybe they were tired of fighting the currents trekking up the coast to Alaskan waters, or maybe they just wanted to check out the nice scenery along the river but the whales stayed around for a while whatever their reasons. A short video captured in June from the river bank and another taken from a bridge in July shows the mother and her calf swimming about: Sadly, the story did not have a happy ending for the aquatic visitors. The mother whale died shortly after weaning the calf who then returned to the Pacific Ocean. Its fate is unknown. WHB
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