Killer whale washed up on island off coast of British Columbia rescued – .

Killer whale washed up on island off coast of British Columbia rescued – .

TORONTO – A killer whale stranded on the shore of an Alaskan island near British Columbia has been rescued with the help of wildlife officials and the crew of a passing vessel.

NOAA Fisheries, the US federal agency responsible for marine conservation, learned that a killer whale stranded around 9 a.m. Thursday after the whale was spotted by a nearby private vessel. The whale had been stranded on a rocky beach on the east side of Prince of Wales Island, located in the Alaska Panhandle off the coast of British Columbia, NOAA Fisheries spokeswoman Julie Fair said on Sunday. , at in an email.

At that time, the six-meter-long whale was about 1.5 meters above the tide line. High tide was expected to be around 5:30 p.m. The whale had also vocalized the entire time it was stranded and other orcas were spotted nearby.

“The marine mammal experts at NOAA Fisheries decided to take a wait-and-see approach, hoping that with the rising tide, the killer whale would refloat and be able to leave the beach,” Fair said.

In the meantime, NOAA allowed the ship’s crew to pump seawater over the whale in order to keep the whale moist and keep birds away until the arrival of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and a NOAA officer, Fair said.

The tide had started to rise around 2 p.m. and by 3 p.m. the tide was high enough for the whale to refloat.

“(Our officer and soldiers) say he moved a bit slowly at first and snaked around a bit before swimming away,” Fair said.

With the help of researchers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the killer whale was identified as T146D, a 13-year-old juvenile Bigg’s Killer Whale from the “transient west coast” population.

Some observers on social media have speculated that the whale may have stranded due to the 8.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked parts of Alaska on Wednesday, but Fair says it didn’t There is no evidence that the earthquake played a role.

“The earthquake happened thousands of miles from the Aleutian Islands, and this stranding happened in southeast Alaska,” Fair said. “Live strandings of whales, including killer whales, are unusual but do occur from time to time. ”


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