Learned today from Dr. Jooke Robbins at the Center for Coastal Studies that the subject of our 2010 Wild Chatham poster (a female calf born in 2009) has been named Piano! Welcome to the world. Humpback whales are typically not given names by the researchers until they return to our waters in two successive years without the constant care of their mother. We are told that there is a high mortality rate in the first two years of life for these whales so it is a big deal when one makes it through to be officially named!
Piano, however, has had its share of problems in its young life already. She was a victim of a ship strike last year, recovered but is currently entangled in some fishing gear off of Chatham. The Center for Coastal Studies is working to free the whale now. As you can surmise from the photograph, Piano is a beautiful and vital creature. Keep fingers crossed for her making through this current trial. Kudos to the scientists and staff at Center for Coastal Studies, located in Provincetown, MA, for the terrific work they do in studying and protecting these incredible animals. PS. This whale is the subject of a story in this weeks Cape Cod Chronicle by Marcie Woodward.