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Updated: 07/13/02

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Saturday, 13 July, 2002

Every construction site should have a bulldog.

I went to THE HOUSE today and climbed up the main staircase to where they were working on the Gallery deck and looking over the edge of the deck was a bulldog. Named Sherman. He is, by the way, owned by JD, one of the carpenters.

There were eight guys working today, excluding Sherman, and they are just about done with the gallery decking. Very exciting. This week they've finished all of the soffitts in the bedroom covering the ductwork, and put in a dropped ceiling in the mudroom/garage.

[Hopefully Sherman will be done with the rest of the framing soon.]

A while ago I noted the capture by conservationists of a young Orca ("Springer") in Puget Sound. She is now ready to attempt a return to her Canadian Family group as reported by Reuters:

TELEGRAPH COVE, British Columbia (July 13) - A young female killer whale orphaned for months in a busy shipping channel near Seattle was returned to Canadian waters on Saturday and scientists hope she will reunite with her family pod.

The 2-year-old whale known to scientists as A-73 but nicknamed "Springer" by local media was reported in good condition on board the high-speed catamaran boat that is carrying her on a journey of about 460 miles from Manchester, Washington to northern Vancouver Island.

It is one of the first attempts to reunite a wild orca whale -- as killer whales are also known -- with its family pod. She is expected to arrive at Telegraph Cove late on Saturday, where she will be placed in a holding pen to adapt to conditions and have her health evaluated.

"We will have done the human part. When she leaves is up to the whale," said John Nightingale, president of the Vancouver Aquarium, which is supervising the transfer operation.

The black-and-white, 1,200 pound whale has become the focus of widespread attention by both the public and scientists since she was discovered in January swimming in Puget Sound near Seattle.

Orcas rarely separate from their family pods so how A-73 got to the Seattle area where her pod has never been seen is a mystery. It is believed she either became separated from it or was rejected after her mother died, and eventually made her way down the coast on her own.

By the time she came to the attention of authorities she was suffering health problems including a skin rash, bad breath and worms that had reduced her appetite.

Worried the whale would die of sickness or be injured in the busy waterway, U.S. officials agreed to capture her in May so she could be treated, with an eye to returning her to Canada when her pod arrived in its traditional summer feeding grounds.

U.S. fisheries officials declared the orca fit for travel in early July, but Canadian officials wanted more time to examine her and it was not until this week that they were assured she would not pose a health risk to other wild killer whales when released.

Officials have stressed they do not know if A-73 will be accepted by its pod, but maintain their effort will be a success if the orca is able to live out its life in the wild even independent of any family group.

[Go Springer!]

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Quote du jour:

"Bulldogs have been known to fall on their swords when confronted by my superior tenacity."

Margaret Halsey (1910 - ____) US author

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