Well, you have to admit, it was a good try. Officials in Astoria, Oregon tried a pretty clever way to chase off pest sealions: A motorized life-sized killer whale that even plays orca sounds over a loudspeaker.
Sea lions have taken up residence on docks and boats in obscene numbers and also kill an astounding number of salmon, steelhead and sturgeon. City officials figure the animals cost Astoria over $50,000 is business annually.
Being a protected species, you can’t take up arms against the invading beasts…so what do you do? Enlist the help of a big, fake whale!
Unfortunately, things didn’t really go as planned. “Fake Willy” was hit by a passing cargo ship’s wake and eventually capsized. The operator, John Wilfer had to be rescued and the whale was hauled out for repairs.
So, round one went to the sea lions…but Fake Willy will be back! He’s currently being retrofitted and made more sea-worthy and will be back prowling the lower Columbia River again in the fall. Stay tuned for the sequel…
“Fake Willy 2: The Revenge”
See more at The Daily Astorian