Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current, June 12, 2015, Page 2A, Image 2

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    2A • June 12, 2015 • Seaside Signal • seasidesignal.com
(lN sel¿es are noW aGviseG
White-sided dolphin
washes ashore on
Ocean Park beach
RXWRIWKHZDWHUEHOO\ÀRS-
ping, somersaulting and rid-
ing the bow waves of boats.
OCEAN
PARK, They can live for a little
Wash. — A 7-foot-long, more than 40 years. Al-
SRXQG PDOH 3DFL¿F though they are an offshore
white-sided dolphin washed species, the dolphins will
ashore in Ocean Park Tues- sometimes venture closer to
shore. They are endemic to
day afternoon, May 27.
The dolphin had died be- WKHQRUWKHUQ3DFL¿F2FHDQ
fore washing ashore. Sea- ranging from the Aleutians
side Aquarium staff recov- down the west coast to the
ered the animal and it was tip of Baja California.
The aquarium works
sent to Portland State Uni-
versity for marine mammal with the Oregon Marine
experts to perform a nec- Mammal Stranding Net-
ropsy May 28 to see if they work to recover animals
could determine the cause that have washed ashore,
of death. The aquarium re- both alive and dead. They
ceived the results May 31, do not see many white-sid-
and the necropsy revealed ed dolphins on the shore
the animal had “some sort – on average about three
of heart complication, most per every two years – be-
likely due to old age,” ac- cause they stay farther out
cording to aquarium staffer in the ocean, as compared
Tiffany Boothe.
to other marine mammals,
7KHQHFURSV\FRQ¿UPHG such as harbour porpoises,
what external observa- Chandler said. They can be
tions had suggested, which seen swimming more often,
is that the dolphin likely but if something happens to
was an old male who died them, he said, they usually
of natural causes, Seaside don’t make it all the way to
Aquarium General Manag- shore, instead sinking to-
er Keith Chandler said. The ZDUGWKHRFHDQÀRRU
dolphins teeth were “really
“These aren’t that com-
worn,” which is a sign of mon,” he added.
age, he said.
One of the aquarium’s
7KH UHVXOWV UHÀHFW JRRG main goals in responding to
news, Boothe said, be- incidents is to educate the
cause they show “this was public.
a healthy animal” with “no
“When we’re out there
signs of disease or human working on these animals,
interaction. Just old.”
people often will stop and
3DFL¿F ZKLWHVLGHG GRO- ask questions, so it’s good
phins are known for their to inform them,” Chandler
exuberant behavior, leaping said.
By Katherine Lacaze
Seaside Signal
PHOTO COURTESY OF NEAL MAINE
Wildlife photographer Neal Maine said he spotted a woman and her dog get too close to an elk cow, which then charged. Peo-
ple are advised to stay well clear of cows and calves, especially during calving season from late May through early June.
Warning: Keep clear of elk cows, calves
By Edward Stratton
EO Media Group
Wildlife experts are advis-
ing people to steer clear of elk
and their calves after reports
of dangerous encounters, in-
cluding a Gearhart woman
on a hike who claimed a large
elk charged at her “full throt-
tle.”
Elk are protecting their ter-
ritory and calves during calv-
ing season, so the animals are
wary of perceived threats.
Neal Maine, a wildlife
photographer, said he wit-
nessed an encounter Sunday
near Del Rey Beach while
shooting a cow and her calf
with a telephoto lens.
Maine said he saw a wom-
an, with her dog in tow, get
up close to a mother and calf
to take a photo with her cell-
phone.
“This woman had come
up over the dunes,” he said.
“She got about 10 feet away.
Then the elk just kind of had
it, and it took off after her.”
Wildlife biologist Dave
Nuzum with the Oregon De-
partment of Fish and Wildlife
said the reaction to humans
varies from cow to cow.
“What seems to set them
off around people is if there’s
a dog,” he said.
Elk do not usually see hu-
mans as predators, Nuzum
explained, but dogs can re-
semble coyotes. He recom-
mends leaving dogs behind
or on leashes in any area with
lots of elk or calves, along
with keeping a long distance
from elk.
No warning
Hayley Rogers of Gear-
hart conveyed in a Facebook
post Monday her displeasure
at a lack of warning signs
about elk near public beach-
es.
Rogers wrote she was
hiking the Birdy Beach Trail
near the mouth of the Neca-
nicum River Monday when
she saw a large elk about 200
yards away. Having lived in
the area for 14 years, Rogers
added, she knew not to get
close.
“As I went over the hill I
heard the loud galloping of
hooves along with crunch-
ing grass,” Rogers wrote. “I
turned to see a 1,000 (pound)
elk (a very large female I be-
lieve) coming at me full throt-
tle.”
Rather than run, she chose
to stand her ground: “So I
stood my ground and found
myself yelling, ‘Bad elk, No!’
at the top of my lungs.”
Rogers wrote she ended up
calling 911 as the elk slowed
and got closer and she feared
she had nowhere to hide. The
police, she wrote, told her she
should not have been in the
HON¶VKDELWDWLQWKH¿UVWSODFH
“Fortunately by now I had
found some type of marker in
the ground which was metal
and about 4 feet long with
D ÀDJ RQ WKH HQG RI LW´ VKH
wrote. “The elk was now 20
(feet) or so away and I was
swinging this marker violent-
O\DWWKHHON7KLVZDVWKH¿UVW
time the elk actually stopped.
“I was done being scared
and more angry at the police
department for telling me
I shouldn’t be on a trail that
had been publicized by the
community paper, which I’ve
ran on for years.”
Gearhart City Adminis-
trator Chad Sweet said this is
WKH¿UVWLQVWDQFHKHKDVKHDUG
of someone being charged by
an elk in his 18 years living in
the area.
While there are no plans to
put up signs at public beach
approaches pointing out calv-
ing season, Sweet said the
Fish and Wildlife Department
is working on informative
signs on interactions between
people and animals. He add-
ed Gearhart is looking at cut-
ting down some trees near the
EHDFKGXQHVWRORZHU¿UHULVN
and prevent habitation by elk
or transients.
Gearhart Police Chief Jeff
Bowman said he focuses on
the human half of the equa-
tion, shooing people away
when they stop on the side of
U.S. Highway 101 and try to
get close to the elk for cell-
phone photos.
“This Gearhart herd, they
don’t run off because you’re
out there mowing your
lawn,” Bowman said, adding
if people pretend not to notice
nearby elk, the animals usual-
ly go about their way.
Bowman, Sweet and
Maine all lamented the trend
of people trying to get closer
to elk for photos.
“I guess when someone
gets stomped, there will be
more heightened awareness,”
Bowman said.
Calving season
According to the U.S.
Forest Service, migrating elk
herds with pregnant cows
halt temporarily in late May
to early June for calving sea-
son. Cows will leave the herd
hours to days before giving
birth. Calves are secluded
up to three weeks with their
mothers in a calving area,
which can be grasslands,
shrublands and forests.
“There’s a patch of forest
in the Del Rey Beach area
where we’ve seen calves
being born in the last three
years,” Maine said.
Nuzum said there is very
little of South County that
is not elk habitat, estimating
more than 5,000 animals in
the Saddle Mountain wildlife
management unit.
Elk calves curl up and lay
in grass or other covered ar-
eas as part of their survival
strategy, he said, and if some-
one were to come across one
by accident, he advised it is
best to get out of the area.
TIFFANY BOOTHE — SEASIDE AQUARIUM
A Pacific white-sided dolphin washed ashore in Ocean Park,
Wash., Tuesday, May 27.
Ju n e 19, 20 & 21, 2015
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