TELEGRAPH COVE—Ten years ago an orphaned orca went on a remarkable journey from Seattle to Vancouver Island, defying the odds to fight her way back to health and reunite with her family.
The young killer whale was in very poor health when she was found in Puget Sound in 2002 after becoming seperated from her family. Marine biologists from the USA and Canada collaborated in the only successful mission of its kind to rescue the orca and reunite her with her family.
Every year Springer and her pod return to where she had her reunion and Telegraph Cove held a Celebrate Springer event this weekend to mark the occasion.
The Cove hosted an environmental fair with booths from Quatse Salmon Stewardship centre, Living Oceans, Vancouver Aquarium and CETUS.
On Saturday some of the scientists involved with the original rescue had a panel discussion in the Whale Interpretive Centre followed by a whale watching trip and a salmon barbeque on the boardwalk.
The panel recalled the efforts to reunite Springer with her family and noted that, while this story has a happy ending, other whales are in trouble and need help. They hoped that Springer’s high profile could help alert people about some of the other environmental issues facing marine mammals today.
Springer and her pod were spotted in the Johnstone Strait earlier in the week, making this the tenth consecutive year that she has been spotted back in the waters where she made her reunion.