A video of the whale surfacing for air.
I was really excited to see the whale. It took us about two hours of driving to get to where it was. As we got near the bridge, we were really hoping that the whale would still be there, since it had already been swimming in the river for about a month. When the bridge was in view, we saw some orange cones and a scrolling sign that said, "Caution, people on bridge." As we drove over the bridge to get to some parking on the other side, we saw tons of people gawking over the side of the bridge and down into the river. Yay! That meant the whale was still there! After we parked, we literally ran back onto the bridge and got a good spot for the whale watching. The whale was just swimming back and forth under the bridge, as if it was parading for us to see.
Another video of the whale and the Klamath River.
The river was very shallow, so the whale was really visible and it came up for air often. After half an hour of parading under the bridge, it started swimming farther upstream, then stopped, still in view. At that point, a seal started swimming around, and it was munching on some fish it caught. The whale never came back towards the bridge again, but we waited anyways for another half hour. Then we decided it would be a good idea to head back home, since it was already about 4pm and we were very far north still (almost at the Oregon border).
The Klamath River whale, as seen from the bridge.
Apparently, the whale swam up the river with her baby in late June. The mother whale stayed in the river, but the baby ended up swimming back out to sea a month later. Today, I just read online, it beached itself on a sandbar and sadly, died. The scientists studying it don't know what the cause of death is, but they are doing an autopsy. It might of been sick before swimming into the river, or it might of got sick while in the river. It will be buried on the banks of the river, and the whale bones will belong to the Indian tribe, whose land surrounds the Klamath River. While it was alive, people have been coming to the bridge to watch it every day and night, and some people even played music for it (hippies), and some people swam with the whale (crazy hippies)!
People watching the whale as it swims under the bridge.