August 14, 2002

Echo continues to move more slowly than he did prior to being injured. However, Project Director, Catherine Kinsman believes that the beluga is showing indications of recovery.

On August 5, he was observed to open and close his mouth and position his body in a head-down-to-the-bottom posture that is commonly used by belugas to find prey such as flat fish. Echo has begun spending significant periods of time in the harbour, outside of the wharf area where he is exhibiting foraging behaviour. However, the Whale Stewardship Project (WSP) is not able to confirm to what degree Echo is successful in catching and eating prey. During periods when he is within the wharf area, Echo has also resumed some limited vocalizing and shows interest in seabirds by following and diving with them. Although some of these activities are an improvement on Echo's exceptionally lethargic behaviour observed during the three days immediately following the injury, the whale still faces many challenges and so we remain cautious in our optimism.

The ability of Project Director,Cathy Kinsman and other WSP staff to work closely with Echo in preparation for the veterinary assessment, has been limited because the injured beluga is choosing to spend more time away from the wharf area. However, Cathy Kinsman and WSP co-founder Ken Petersen continued the process of documenting Echo's injuries using still photographs and an underwater video camera on August 13 to facilitate on-going consultations with veterinarians and other experts concerning Echo's condition.

Veterinarian and University Director of Animal Care at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dr. Chris Harvey Clark is scheduled to arrive in Codroy, Newfoundland on August 16.

The WSP would like to thank the public for complying with our request to refrain from any and all attempts to interact with Echo.

Whale Stewardship Project

P.O. Box 36101

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canada   B3J 3S9

1-902-889-2679

Email: wsp@eastlink.ca

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