Dee, the Beautiful Whale,
Continues to Inspire Students
In 2016, Dee McMillan of Texas was a victim of cyberbullying at her high school. A facebook posting showed a photo of her and the caption DEE THE FAT WHALE.
She went home, devastated, but not defeated. With a friend's help she designed a tee-shirt that said:
Dee, The Fat Whale Saves the Whales.
Her efforts raised an impressive $8,000 and enabled us to purchase the inflatable whale built to our specifications. Dee is a life-sized whale at 43 feet and students love to go inside her and view her organs.
The following is a review written by Jessica V. Allen, PrincipaI, International School of Monterey.
I am writing to let everyone know of the quality and impact that Dee the Beautiful Whale program had on the students wowed by the realization of the size of the whale and all of its biological features, but they were also touched and moved by the other messages that were also included in the program.
Following the program they showed in their actions that they were much more conscious of their impact on their environment and we noticed students caring more about litter and not using plastic. In addition, the heartwarming message of anti-bullying is crafted delicately in the presentation and it is clearly visible on the face of the students when they find out that humpback whales don't let other animals bully.
After the program, students were willing to work together as a team to support one another and be more aware of bullying behavior. In addition to the great program, Ms. Sidenstecker and the other presenters were approachable and knowledgeable and were deft at working with all levels and needs of students. I couldn't recommend the program enough!
Ends in Tragedy
The capture and tragic death of a female vaquita will end attempts to catch this shy and elusive mammal. Not only did the female die the day after the capture process, but a vaquita calf was caught earlier in the month and released when its condition began to deteriorate. Whether it found its mother and survived is unknown.
With the best of intentions, a group of experienced marine mammal scientists had made careful plans for the vaquita to breed in sea pens. The captured female was taken to a floating sea pen known as El Nido, the nest. The vaquitas were to be held here, near the town of San Felipe, Baja, Mexico, approximating their ocean home.
The plan was to release the vaquitas as the population grew. The captured female would be kept with other vaquitas as they were captured. However, when her health began to deteriorate, the veterinary team began life-saving measures but they were unsuccessful.
Many people were opposed to the capture process but there weren't a lot of options left for the vaquita. This tragedy was forecast by some but others remained optimistic, and thought it was the last and best chance for the vaquita. It is estimated there are 23 vaquitas remaining on the planet.
The Vaquita CPS (Conservation Protection Recovery) group was in charge of the capture and is meeting to decide what to do, but it is definitely not going to do captures.
Save The Whales has asked that the funds be used for enforcement to protect the remaining animals.
Happy Holidays to You, Your Family and Friends
The whales, dolphins and the smallest porpoise on earth - the vaquita - is slipping away, and we can't expect any help from the Administration.
Do all that you can by contributing to the environmental group of your choice, by voting for environmental candidates, keeping beaches clean and never release balloons. Do not let plastics enter the waterways.The environment is under assault, and we must do all that we can to protect it.
Thank you for all that you do.
Maris Sidenstecker I
President Co-Founder - Save The Whales
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Save The Whales
Voted Top-Rated Nonprofit 2017