British Columbia | Rescue team considers new tactic to save calf

(Zeballos) A Canadian Fisheries Department official says a rescue team working to recover a small killer whale stranded in a lagoon off northern Vancouver Island was prepared to change tactics to save its life , in particular by bringing the orca back to sea.

Paul Cottrell, the ministry’s marine mammal coordinator, said all possibilities will be examined over the coming days after a team of experts and First Nations people failed to clear the lagoon of the two-year-old animal.

At a news conference with local First Nations leaders, Cottrell said they would not rule out placing the orca in a sling-type device and hoisting her out to sea.

Several attempts were made to get the calf to leave the area after its pregnant mother died Saturday in the lagoon when she was trapped by low tide.

Ehattesaht First Nation Chief Simon John said he expects rescue team members to resume their efforts Thursday to help the calf reach the ocean, where it is hoped he will find his family members.

A necropsy of the mother orca, a 15-year-old Bigg’s killer whale, showed she was pregnant at the time of her death.

“My real mission is to get the calf safely out of the lagoon and back to its group,” said Simon John.

source site-61