J.J. CAM LIVE at Sea World of California here on the Animal InformationDatabase! You can also view the J.J.Movies !
(May 8, 1997)After four months spent in the company of her humancaretakers at Sea World of California, J.J. will soon learn about her ownkind. Beginning at the end of May, recorded gray whale sounds will be playedfor the baby gray whale several hours each day as an added enrichment toher 1.7-million-gallon environment. J.J., who beached off Marina del Reyearly this year, will be part of this unique experiment to determine ifa playback of whale sounds can increase her repertoire. According to researcherDr. Ann Bowles of the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, recordings ofJ.J.'s vocalizations reveal some holes in her vocabulary. "J.J. hasthe calls and the clicks and gray whale-type sounds, but there are somethings missing. Her calls are not as varied as we expected," saidBowles. The National Marine Fisheries Service authorized Sea World to tapeJ.J.ās vocalizations when she was first brought to the marine lifepark. Recordings of gray whales in feeding grounds off the Alaska coasthave been collected, as well as recordings of large groups of grays movingdown the migration path. These will be played for J.J., and changes inher repertoire will be monitored. The experiment will commence within thenext few weeks, according to Bowles. The baby gray whale has also startedto sample solid foods, and will eventually learn to feed entirely on herown. The park's animal care specialists agree that her ability to learnto eat on her own is key to her survival after reintroduction to the ocean.
"J.J. is less than 5 months old. We are starting to offer her squidby hand, to see if she takes it," said Curator of Mammals Tom Goff.While most whale calves wean at 6 to 7 months, J.J. is given squid severaltimes each day, in addition to her formula. Like most babies her age, J.J.'sinterest in solid food waxes and wanes, but her enthusiasm for formulacontinues to grow right along with her girth. Currently drinking nearly30 gallons of formula each day, J.J. weighs in at 5,600 pounds and measures20.5 feet long. When brought to Sea World January 11 after being rescuedfrom a Southern California beach, she weighed 1,670 pounds. She gains anaverage of 1.2 pounds per hour. This rapid growth rate parallels that ofgray whale calves in the wild. Guests observing J.J.'s lazy dips and rollspast the viewing gallery of her pool frequently ask who will teach thebaby whale to feed, with no mother or companion whale to imitate. "Weknow many baby animals rely on instinct for this type of thing," saidGoff. "They experiment, explore and put everything in their mouths.She has scooped up pieces of kelp and squid from the bottom of the pool."As the largest animal ever accepted into Sea Worldās Beached AnimalRescue & Rehabilitation program, J.J. continues to command internationalattention and support. Preliminary plans call for her to be reintroducedto the wild in early 1998.
Taking a Dip - 5/7/97
J.J.'sThree Month Update - 4/18/97
J.J.Continues To Thrive at Sea World - 3/11/97
J.J.Moves to Shamu Backstage Viewing Area - 2/20/97
OneMonth at Sea World Marks Weight Gain for J.J. - 2/11/97
GrayWhale Formula Preparation on View - 1/29/97
SeaWorld Creates Nursing Device - 1/27/97
Update- 1/20/97 at 3:00 p.m. EST
GrayWhale Gains Extra Pounds and A Name - 1/20/97
FifthDay Finds Gray Whale Calf Continuing to Improve - 1/16/97
NewbornGray Whale At Sea World Continues To Show Improvement - 1/13/97
FirstNight at Sea World - 1/12/97
Moreinformation about gray whales
Moreinformation about the Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Program
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