J.J. Continues to Thrive After Two Months At Sea World
SAN DIEGO (March 11, 1997) J.J., the abandoned California gray whale calf who beached herself Jan. 11 near Marina del Rey, today marks two months in the care of Sea World of California veterinarians and marine mammal specialists.
Since arriving at Sea World in near comatose condition, the calf has gained more than 1500 pounds and grown 3 feet in length. Todays physical exam revealed J.J. now weighs 3230 pounds and is 16 feet, 10 inches long. She continues to gain more than one pound an hour.
Her rapid growth and improving health were cited by the National Marine Fisheries Service staff, who allowed Sea World to move the calf from a 40-foot by 40-foot medical pool into the 1.7-million-gallon pool, formerly Sea Worlds "Shamu Backstage" killer whale attraction. The parks killer whales have been moved to other areas of the 7-million-gallon Shamu Stadium complex.
"We are encouraged with her steady progress," said Dr. Jim McBain, Sea World veterinarian. "Although the initial prognosis for her survival was poor, J.J. has amazed all of us."
The growing infant is consuming two gallons of a special formula every three hours. A warmed mixture of heavy cream, minced fish and powdered milk with vitamins is prepared daily at the nursery in Rocky Point Preserve. Guests can observe the parks animal care staff measuring out and blending the ingredients.
Guests also may watch J.J.s noon and 3 p.m. feedings each day and participate in the parks "Ask the Expert" program. Animal care specialists taking guest questions are the same staff members who have worked tirelessly to improve her condition.
A 70-foot-long viewing window in J.J.s new home gives both researchers and Sea World guests a unique perspective of the calf.
"This is the only opportunity most people will ever have to observe a gray whale calf up close," said Sea World General Manager Bill Davis. "In addition to the important scientific data were collecting, our guests are getting a firsthand look at a mysterious and magnificent animal."
Sea Worlds education department has instructors on duty at J.J.s pool to answer questions and provide information about California gray whales. A status board, updated daily, provides J.J.s vital statistics. Educational graphics give information about the parks animal rescue program, J.J.s progress at Sea World and facts about the California gray. Anyone interested in J.J.s story can contact the parks educational information line at 1-800-23-SHAMU.
J.J. is the largest animal Sea World has ever attempted to rehabilitate. The goal of Sea Worlds marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation program is to return animals to health and reintroduce them into the wild. Park officials estimate J.J. will be ready for release late this year or early in 1998. The release is planned to coincide with the gray whale migration off the California coast.
A leader in conservation and education, the Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks maintain this Animal Information site designed especially for students and teachers at www.seaworld.org The site is offering weekly updates on the condition of the gray whale. The Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks include Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay and Williamsburg, Va.; Sea World marine life parks in Orlando, San Diego, San Antonio and Cleveland; Adventure Island in Tampa Bay; Water Country USA in Williamsburg; and Sesame Place near Philadelphia. Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks employ more than 15,000 people nationwide.
For additional information, contact Jonna Rae Bartges of Sea World public relations at (619) 226-3619, pager (619) 526-0126.
J.J. Moves to Shamu
Backstage Viewing Area - 2/20/97
One Month at Sea World Marks Weight Gain for J.J. - 2/11/97
Gray Whale Formula Preparation on View - 1/29/97
Sea World Creates Nursing Device - 1/27/97
Update - 1/20/97 at 3:00 p.m. EST
Gray Whale Gains Extra Pounds and A Name - 1/20/97
Fifth Day Finds Gray Whale Calf Continuing to Improve - 1/16/97
Newborn Gray Whale At Sea World Continues To Show Improvement - 1/13/97
First Night at Sea World - 1/12/97
More information about gray whales
More information about the Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Program
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