Residents of an Arizona city were left in disbelief by a visit from a bear that climbed up two utility poles and even sat on the wires at one point.
Drone video shows endangered whales appearing to embrace
WOODS HOLE, Mass. (AP) — Were these whales really hugging — or was it just a fluke?
Drone video of two critically endangered North Atlantic right whales swimming in Cape Cod Bay shows the animals appearing to embrace one another with their flippers.
Wildlife photographer Brian Skerry and scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the New England Aquarium captured the moment on Feb. 28 as the whales interacted.
Woods Hole scientists say such behavior is rarely observed and that it may have been the first time a whale hug was recorded from the air.
"Researchers saw what appeared to be whales hugging with their flippers, technically described as 'belly to belly:' perhaps showing affection and attempts at mating," the research team said in a statement.
North Atlantic right whales are some of the planet's most endangered animals, with the known population estimated at just 360. The whales are susceptible to ship strikes and potentially lethal entanglements with commercial fishing gear.
Scientists say there's a bright spot: The whales gave birth over the past winter in greater numbers than scientists have seen since 2015.
Bear has close call on utility poles in Arizona border city
DOUGLAS, Ariz. (AP) — Residents of an Arizona border city were left in disbelief by a surprise visit from a bear.
The Arizona Game & Fish Department said the bear appeared Sunday in downtown Douglas.
Bolder than your average bear, the animal climbed up two utility poles and even sat on the wires at one point.
State wildlife officials, Douglas police, the Cochise County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Border Patrol closed off U.S. Hwy 191 and tried to get the bear to leave.
Authorities say the seemingly unfazed bear eventually climbed down and scampered off, sending about two dozen onlookers scattering.
No injuries were reported.
Game & Fish officials say this is the time of year where people in the area need to watch out for bears.
An Australian destroyer arrived in San Diego with 2 dead endangered whales stuck to its hull
Two dead endangered whales were dislodged from the hull of an Australian destroyer after the warship docked in San Diego last weekend, according to the Royal Australian Navy.
The whales were found near HMAS Sydney, which berthed in Naval Base San Diego, the principal home port of the US Navy's Pacific Fleet.
"The Navy takes marine mammal safety seriously and is disheartened this incident occurred," a statement from the Australian navy said.
The Australian and US navies -- along with the US NOAA Fisheries, which oversees marine resources -- were investigating, the statement said.
CNN affiliate 10News in San Diego reported the dead mammals were fin whales, the world's second-largest whale species, behind only blue whales. One was 65 feet (about 20 meters) long and the other about 25 feet (7.6 meters), the report said.
A NOAA Fisheries fact sheet on fin whales lists them as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, with a population of about 3,200 off the US West Coast. The whales were once hunted extensively, but today their biggest threat is being struck by a ship, the fact sheet says.
HMAS Sydney is a 481-foot (146.7-meter) guided-missile destroyer with a 7,000-ton displacement, according to the Australian navy. The ship's hull extends 23.6 feet (7.2 meters) below the waterline.
It's one of the newest ships in the Australian fleet, commissioned just a year ago.
The ship steamed into San Diego on Saturday after testing its combat systems in an exercise off the California coast, according to a tweet from the Australian navy.
Whale strikes by naval vessels are rare, said Carl Schuster, a former US Navy captain.
"Whales can hear ships from miles away and generally avoid ships using mid-frequency and high-powered low frequency sonars because it bothers their hearing," Schuster said.
Low-frequency sonar can confuse whales in shallower waters, Schuster said -- but the Australian ship is equipped with a high-frequency sonar.
However, a NOAA Fisheries report on whale strikes says they can occur as the whales feed and migrate in coastal waters, especially in heavy shipping lanes like those off Southern California.