Driving down U.S. 101 on the California side of the Oregon border on Monday, my wife and I took note of a Caltrans message sign warning of congestion a few miles ahead. CHP cones shrank the highway to a single lane each way over the Klamath River bridge. Clumps of people looked over the side and pointed toward the river below. We kept going — great news instincts, eh? — and only found out later that a gray whale has been lingering in the river since June, attracting daily crowds. Its calf swam out to sea on July 23, and wildlife experts have been using orca sounds and other methods hoping to nudge the cow toward the Pacific. With no success, the scientific mission is turning toward study of the effects on a whale of too much time in fresh water. They think she seems healthy so far, but as of today scientists were trying to grab a breath sample from her blowhole eruptions to test. AP, Redding Record Searchlight, Lake County News
After the jump: A beluga whale in captivity in Connecticut appears to respond to mariachi players.