Vets provide medical aid to stranded California whales
To the relief of many whale lovers, the veterinarians have arrived. "Delta" and "Dawn", the mother/child pair of humpback whales which have been stranded in the freshwater Sacramento River for at least two weeks, received injections of antibiotics on Sunday. It's hoped the medication will help the two ward off infections to deep gashes in their skin (the wounds were likely caused by a run-in with a boat). Swabs were also taken of blister-like lesions on the whales' skin. In an interesting test, biologists attempted to capture "exhalation vapor" from both whales to try and get a better sense of their health; authorities are especially interested in knowing if the calf is still nursing.
While the whales still haven't reached the ocean, some progress is being made. They seemed to move when sprayed with water from fire hoses, so more boats equipped with hoses will be be lined up in the coming week in an attempt to push the whales towards saltwater. If they can be moved at least 15 miles downriver, they still won't be back in the ocean, but they'll be in saltier water which may improve their health.