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OrcaArtist
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Rescued pilot whale 'Sully' at home at SeaWorld
      #139476 - 01/05/10 06:43 PM

Rescued pilot whale 'Sully' at home at SeaWorld
By Susan Shroder, Union-Tribune Staff Writer

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 4:54 p.m.

SAN DIEGO — A stranded young pilot whale that was nursed back to health by rescuers in the Caribbean has acclimated well to his new home at SeaWorld San Diego, officials at the marine park said Tuesday.

The male whale was found beached last July on Curacao, an island near Aruba. Once healthy, rescuers tried to reintroduce him to wild pods in the ocean, but each time, he followed the boat back. It was determined that he would only survive in a zoological facility.

The 11-foot-whale, believed to be between 1 and 3 years old, was named Sully, after airline Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who guided his crippled US Airways plane onto New York’s Hudson River last year, saving the lives of everyone onboard.

The whale, now in a pool off public view, will eventually be introduced to SeaWorld San Diego’s other two pilot whales, Bubbles, who is 47, and Shadow, who is 30. Both have performed at the marine park for more than 20 years.

Sully arrived at SeaWorld San Diego on Monday following a nearly eight-hour flight in a special carrier on a chartered FedEx cargo plane.

Dr. Tom Reidarson, senior veterinarian at SeaWorld San Diego, said tests showed that Sully is healthy, and he was eating and swimming normally Tuesday.

Kelly Terry, a spokeswoman for SeaWorld San Diego, said it is not yet known if Sully, who will be in quarantine for 30 days, will eventually be trained to perform.

“We just want to get him situated and make sure he’s healthy,” Terry said Tuesday.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/jan/05/rescued-pilot-whale-quotsullyquot-at-home-at/

And more photos

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dolphinacademy/

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Amanda


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OrcaArtist
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Re: Rescued pilot whale 'Sully' at home at SeaWorld [Re: OrcaArtist]
      #139483 - 01/07/10 05:56 PM

YouTube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwGFfd4glfw

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Amanda


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OrcaArtist
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Re: Rescued pilot whale 'Sully' at home at SeaWorld [Re: OrcaArtist]
      #139489 - 01/10/10 07:06 PM

Photos

http://www.seaworld.com/assetrepo/media/...arrival_lrg.jpg

George Kieffer (left), president of the Southern Caribbean Cetacean Network, gives a “thumbs up” as he and Eric Otjen (right), SeaWorld San Diego's assistant curator of mammals, help Sully the pilot whale acclimate to his new pool at the San Diego marine-life park shortly after arrival on Jan. 4, 2010.

http://www.seaworld.com/assetrepo/media/...feeding_lrg.jpg

George Kieffer, president of the Southern Caribbean Cetacean Network, feeds Sully the pilot whale in his new pool at SeaWorld San Diego. The rescued pilot whale was transported from Curacao to SeaWorld on Jan. 4, 2010.

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Amanda


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orcamistress101
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Re: Rescued pilot whale 'Sully' at home at SeaWorld [Re: OrcaArtist]
      #139492 - 01/12/10 07:57 AM

I wonder when they'll introduce him to the girls and the dolphins?

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UlisesGirl
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Re: Rescued pilot whale 'Sully' at home at SeaWorld [Re: orcamistress101]
      #139493 - 01/12/10 09:54 AM

I would imagine they'll wait until the new stage is done... I don't think they want to be moving him from place to place frequently, until he adjusts, anyway.

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Leah


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OrcaArtist
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Re: Rescued pilot whale 'Sully' at home at SeaWorld [Re: orcamistress101]
      #139494 - 01/12/10 06:03 PM

He has 30 days of quarantine, and even after that, I'm sure his introduction to the others will be slow.

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Amanda


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orcamistress101
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Re: Rescued pilot whale 'Sully' at home at SeaWorld [Re: OrcaArtist]
      #139497 - 01/12/10 09:36 PM

I hope it goes well when they do introduce him!

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Tuar
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Re: Rescued pilot whale 'Sully' at home at SeaWorld [Re: OrcaArtist]
      #139622 - 04/14/10 12:53 PM

An update from SeaWorld today! Great news, and I'm fascinated with the research they're conducting on his hearing. It'll be interesting to see the results of his tests. Pictures at link!

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/apr/14/whale-rehabs-at-park/

Quote:


SAN DIEGO — Researchers aren’t sure why the infant, bulbous-headed pilot whale stranded himself, a problem that sometimes affects entire pods of these marine mammals.

Rescuers from SeaWorld took in the whale, which they named Sully, and helped him recover fully. Now, from the uncertain cause that brought him to San Diego, scientists and trainers hope to make many discoveries about pilot whales as Sully grows up.

Sully was found dehydrated and emaciated in a bay next to the Caribbean island of Curacao. The Southern Caribbean Cetacean Network treated him for about six months and then transferred him to SeaWorld, which has two other pilot whales, in January.

The marine-themed park chartered a FedEx cargo plane to bring the whale to San Diego. The trip cost more than $100,000, covered by SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Program.

Sully’s caretakers in Curacao had tried to introduce him to other pods, but he always followed the boat back to shore.

“I don’t think he had this huge attachment for us. It was just that the last time he was in the ocean alone, it wasn’t working for him,” said George Kieffer, president of the cetacean network. “When it comes down to an individual animal working so hard to survive … he basically volunteered to be treated.”

A few trainers have suggested that Sully’s stranding resulted from his hearing deficiency, which the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program tested by measuring his body’s electrical responses to various sounds.

Because little is known about pilot whales’ hearing, the Navy used one of SeaWorld’s other pilot whales as a baseline.

More months of analysis are required before the tests will yield reliable results, SeaWorld researchers said.

“These whales are prone to mass strandings” said Ann Bowles, a senior researcher at the Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute. “Nobody knows why. This is one of the pieces of information that we can potentially get an angle on by working with animals that we can get our hands on and look at closely.”

Sully eventually will perform with Bubbles and Shadow — both female pilot whales — in SeaWorld’s Dolphin Stadium, which is being renovated and will reopen in May.

Until then, he shares a pool in the training facility with four male dolphins.

“What I like about what he’s got now, is that he’s got other animals to interact with,” Kieffer said. “Ultimately (Bubbles and Shadow) are really going to want to socialize with him, but they’re going to have that whole, ‘We’re a female team, you’re an outsider’ thing at first.”

SeaWorld officials said it’s impossible to predict Sully’s behavior, but senior trainer Stephanie Jol said his manner so far suggests he won’t be a threat to the trainers or his tank-mates.

“I think he’s one of the sweetest animals I’ve ever met in my life,” Jol said. “He’s got a huge set of teeth. He’s got teeth like you’ve never seen before, but all of the behavior that he’s shown with us is just very lovable and very gentle.”

Jol was selected to work with Sully because she has experience rehabilitating animals, including work with the Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Program at SeaWorld.

Sully’s rehabilitation off Curacao, where he was kept in a small netted area most of the time, included treatment for starvation. He was tube-fed a special formula until he could eat fish — whales typically hydrate by eating fish — and play with a ball.

Sully has gained 56 pounds since his arrival at SeaWorld and has grown to 11 feet long.

“I gave him maybe a 10, 15 percent chance to survive the night, let alone be a success for rehab,” Kieffer said. “He’s a fighter.”




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MidWestOrcaFan
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Re: Rescued pilot whale 'Sully' at home at SeaWorld [Re: Tuar]
      #139627 - 05/19/10 11:33 AM

Sully was not visible in Animal Care on Saturday on the Behind The Scenes tour. Hopefully that means he was introduced to the girls! The tour guide didn't know where he was.

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loveforRuka
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Re: Rescued pilot whale 'Sully' at home at SeaWorld [Re: MidWestOrcaFan]
      #139628 - 05/31/10 09:25 AM

For a few days Sully was with the boys in the pool closest to the bay, he is back with moms and calves. He is not over at the show, and won't be for a long time. They don't really have a spot to put him at the moment and they are very busy with Blue Horizons. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't move Sully till the slow off season. He has to be re-introduced to the show males. Then introducing him to the pilot females will be slow and cause social issues, and they wouldn't want to do right now, they need the dolphins and whales to focus on the show and training.

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