Beached for more than six hours on Wednesday, an orca whale was saved and finally able to escape in Hartley Bay, with the help of researchers and volunteers who rushed to the animal’s defence.
“It was a team effort, and fortunately on some level this transient orca understood that we were trying to help,” wrote Whale Point, on its Facebook page. The group said it used water pumps and sheets to keep the animal cool and safe before the tide could rise.
Hermann Meuter, co-founder of The Ceteacean Lab (aka Whale Point), said his group was joined by local volunteers, including members of the WWF and the Guardians of Hartley Bay, in aiding the orca.
He told the CBC the tide rose to the animal’s level about 4 p.m. Wednesday, and it took nearly an hour for the orca to free itself after that, when it was able to return to its waiting pod.
from Whale Point’s Facebook post:
“She cried often, which tore at our hearts, but as the tide came up there were many cheers as this whale was finally free after 6+ hours of being stuck on this rock… A giant thank you once again to this amazing community that comes together so quickly to protect what is sacred.”
Whale Point says it will have a blog post and video ready soon, to be published on its website CeteceaLab.org.
Photos below from Whale Point on Facebook: