UPDATE - March 31 11:40 a.m. PST
Researchers received three signals from J.J.s satellite transmitters within 15
minutes of her release into the Pacific Ocean
at 10:17 a.m. PST.
Brent Stewart, Ph.D., senior biologist at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, reported
the positive news from the boat
tracking J.J.s progress. Although its too early to plot a definite course of J.J.s movement, the signals do indicate that
J.J. is swimming and not staying at the release point, Stewart said. The satellite receivers can pick up the signal only
when J.J. breaches the surface, so the signals indicate she has come up for air several times.
Jim Antrim, general curator of SeaWorld San Diego, reported from the deck of the
release boat, the U.S. Coast Guard
cutter Conifer, that the release operation was virtually flawless and even ahead of schedule. "Weve done everything we
can for J.J. and now shes on her own," Antrim said. "It was a bittersweet moment, but were happy she appears to be
The National Marine Fisheries Service observed the release and will continue to monitor
J.J.s progress. NMFS now has
jurisdiction over J.J. as a free-ranging wild marine animal and will determine if she requires any further assistance in her
new life in the wild.
The Conifer and associated vessels involved in the release are expected to arrive at Naval Station San Diego by noon PST.