Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Community and the Whale

My last Sunday by the Sea post featured a whale in the Klamath River in Northern California. By the time I had the privilege of seeing her swimming below the bridge, her baby had already returned to the ocean. Many people were excited to see the mama whale and observe her majestic presence in the river. From locals to students from Humboldt State University, the whale brought lots of people to the bridge to marvel and to learn.

Sad to say, the mama whale never rejoined her baby out at sea. She passed away a couple of days ago.

I'd like to share a couple of quotes from an article in the Times-Standard here, as they fit this week's theme of community so well and show the positive side to this story:

"It brought a lot of laughs, smiles and a lot of conversation... She kind of liked it here. And, it appeared she liked people.”

"It brought many agencies and entities and concerned people together to work together to learn the abilities of each other and to know each other... We learned a little more about the science of whales, and the scientists learned a little bit more about the tradition of whales.”

~ Yurok Tribal Chairman Thomas O'Rourke Sr. ~

The Yurok tribe will be burying the whale "above the river near where she died."

If you're interested in learning more about the whale's story, please read the article on the newspaper's website. I got my information (and these quotes) from this article, although I had heard about the whale's death earlier from a friend.


Kav said...

:-( I was so hoping for another outcome. I like the way that she brought and sense of community to such a diverse group of people and agencies. And that is often the way, isn't it? We tend to come together and support each other more in a crisis. We need to figure out how to keep that connection all the time.

Bluerose said...

That is heartbreaking!
It is great that she brought so many people together, though!

Vince said...

Hi Amber:

I’ve been thinking about that whale and also about the business saying, “What gets rewarded gets done”.

Why would a whale swim to fresh water? I think it was because fresh water reduces the whale’s pain from some kind of ailment. I think the doctors need to look at whale diseases that would be less painful by being in fresh water.

That’s where I would look to help save the next whale.


Cathy said...

Hi Amber, I just awarded you and your blog the Liebster Blog Award! Check out my blog for the details...

Juju at Tales of said...

Oh how sad :(

Casey said...

What a neat picture, but what a sad ending! :( It's the cycle of life, isn't it?

I saw Cathy passed on the same award, but for what it is worth, I have it for you here at my blog too! :)

Michelle said...

So sad about the whale. :(

You'll be happy to know that I'm passing on the Liebster Blog Award to you as well. :D

You can pick it up here . . .

Sweet Blessings to you, Amber!

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

beautiful representation of community of the kinship of people and animals ~ luving this line of thought... thanks, Amber!

Amber S. said...


I know. :( But I agree that people often are brought together in the difficult times, and I'm glad for that positive part of this story. As you say, may we find sweet community in happy times as well as sad times!


Amber S. said...


Yes, on both counts! Thank you for stopping by. :)


Amber S. said...


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! It really does make you wonder why she decided to swim up the river... Definitely something to look into so that we can help more whales!


Amber S. said...

Cathy, Casey, and Michelle,

Thank you all so much for passing that award to me! I'm so honored to think that all of you would want to share it with me. :) You guys are so sweet!!


Amber S. said...


It is sad. :( I wish I could have shared happier news, but hopefully (as Vince suggests) we might be able to learn more about whales and how to help them, and we can remember this time of closer community.


Amber S. said...

Faith Hope Cherrytea,

You're welcome! I guess we should thank the person who wrote the article and the man who said those quotes, as I really appreciated the positive attitude - seeing the good in this sad story, and being grateful for the sense of community inspired by the whale's presence. :)