Marine mammals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1993:

The Dolphin Alliance, of
Melbourne Beach, Florida, announced
September 22 that Bogie and Bacall, the
Ocean Reef Club dolphins, will be going
home to the Indian River Lagoon as soon
as they complete rehabilitation with former
“Flipper” trainer Ric O’Barry, who heads
the closely allied Dolphin Project.
Publicity surrounding the 1988 capture of
Bogie and Bacall influenced the National
Marine Fisheries Service to ban further dol-
phin captures for the benefit of facilities
not open to the public. When the Ocean
Reef Club was sold recently, it lost the
grandfather clause enabling it to keep
Bogie and Bacall.

U.S. District Judge John
Coughenour of Seattle on August 24
barred the Navy from using 10 trained dol-
phins in a two-week military training exer-
cise with the Canadian Armed Forces and
Coast Guard in Puget Sound. “I’m just baf-
fled,” Coughenour said, “that the Navy
would go ahead this way in view of the
plain meaning of the agreement” that it
signed in January 1991 to scrap a plan to
use Atlantic bottlenosed dolphins to guard
a Puget Sound submarine base. The
Progressive Animal Welfare Society
delayed the plan by demanding an impact
study in an April 1989 lawsuit. In
November 1989, Coughenour ruled that
the Navy was obligated to prepare the
study, under the National Environmental
Policy Act, but the Navy dropped the plan
instead as part of a general down-sizing.
The U.S. Navy revealed in late
August that it is now using top-secret ultra-
sensitive underwater listening devices orig-
inally deployed to track Russian sub-
marines in a collaboration with Cornell
University in upstate New York to study
the movement and communication patterns
of whales. “We’re finding that blue and fin-
back whales are vocally active throughout
the year, not just in the winter and spring,
and that their sounds are detectable over
hundreds of miles,” said Cornell biologist
Christopher Clark.
John Grobler of the Reuter
news agency was apparently the only
reporter to penetrate the wall of security
Namibia placed around the August mas-
sacre of 48,000 seal pups, whose pelts
were sold to Europe while their dried penis-
es went to Asia. “We will not allow the
media to sabotage our economic endeav-
ors,” said Reimo Kankondi, permanent
secretary for the Namibian ministry of
wildlife, conservation and tourism.
The Alliance of Marine Mammal
Parks and Aquariums has dispatched an
emergency medical team to the financially
troubled Reino Aventura aquarium in
Mexico City to treat Keiko, the orca who
starred in the hit film Free Willie, for life-
threatening immune system deficiencies
resulting from poor living conditions.
“There are serious concerns that Keiko may
not live long enough to be transported to a
better home if these conditions persist,”
said Vancouver Aquarium director John
Nightingale.
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