Oct. 08, 2002

Echo was sighted today! Within minutes of observing Echo at Crabbes River this morning, three fishermen from Newfoundland's west coast and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) alerted Whale Stewardship Project (WSP) Director, Catherine Kinsman. Catherine, who happened to be within 150 km of the location, departed immediately and arrived at the wharf in time to find Echo alive and well.

The stray juvenile beluga's injuries appear to be healing well and incredibly, he did not lose his left eye in the July 31 boat collision as was initially suspected. Echo was last observed September 5, 2002 but today's sighting of Echo marks the first time the Project Director has seen the beluga since mid-August.    

Using the underwater video camera, Catherine was able to document the healing process of the injuries that had been considered potentially life-threatening. Echo's left eye was bloodshot, but moving. The movement of the eye together wth the orientation of his head to the camera and other objects indicates that Echo probably has at least some vision in the eye, but it is not possible to tell if he has 100 per cent use of it. Photographs of Echo's injuries taken within two days of the collision with a boat propeller are available now on this web site.

Echo only stayed in the Crabbes River area for a few hours before disappearing again. Echo's short stay underscores how important timely reports of sightings are to the WSP and our efforts to document the progress of the whale. A huge thank you to the fishermen and DFO for calling us so quickly. It made all the difference and we are very grateful!

Many thanks to the public for your assistance in locating and reporting Echo and other belugas in the region. Your continued support is appreciated.

Whale Stewardship Project

P.O. Box 36101

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canada   B3J 3S9


Email: wsp@eastlink.ca

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Photo posted -November 5, 2002