Eager sportsmen, guns in hand, soon lined the shore, determined to bag a whale. They shot at it until Gov. Julius L Meier ordered them to stop. Portlanders named the whale Ethelbert and reporters wrote about "the friendly whale" that had come to "visit" the city.
By this point, Ethelbert's future looked grim. Time magazine reported in 1931 that the Oregon Humane Society decided the whale "should be painlessly executed with dynamite."
Before Ethelbert's sweet release via TNT, however, harpooners set upon the sorry whale. The stabby offenders were jailed, but after a brief stint in court - laws at the time governed whaling at sea, but not incidents in rivers- the hunters purchased his body from the state for $103 plus legal fees. Ethelbert's pickled body sat on display for 10 years in a tank of formaldehyde in St. Helens, Oregon, until he was finally laid to rest.
This would not be the first time that a blackfish attracted a certain type of dark enterprising spirit. Thirty years after Ethelbert's inland misadventure, a man named Ted Griffin decided he would try to ride an orca, turning wild whales into performers and laying the foundation for killer whales at SeaWorld.