Famous Rescued Orca 'Springer' Spotted With 1st Calf

By Tom Banse

The fairy tale ending for a young orphan killer whale keeps getting better. Canadian marine biologists spotted "Springer" the whale with her first calf off the coast of central British Columbia last week.

A73, also known as Springer, seen off central coast of Vancouver Island, BC on July 4th with baby. Photo by Graeme Ellis, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

This comes 11 years after Springer was rescued from the ferry lanes near Seattle and successfully reunited with her whale family at the north end of Vancouver Island. Helena Symonds of OrcaLab was one of the whale activists who urged fisheries managers in both countries to intervene at the time.

Helena Symonds: "We're just incredibly happy. This is a long story with a very complete feeling when she's gone from being a little orphan herself and now she's a fully fledged orca mum. You know, it looks good for her."

Back in 2002, Springer turned up far from home in Puget Sound after her mother died. The risky decision to capture and relocate the hefty animal came after the lonely whale got too close to ferries and boats too many times.


Photo: A73, also known as Springer, seen off central coast of Vancouver Island, BC on July 4th with baby. Photo by Graeme Ellis, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Currently Playing
Schedule Grid KPBX 91.1
Jazz for a Friday Afternoon
1:00pm 4:00pm
Schedule Grid KSFC 91.9
BBC World Service
3:00pm 4:00pm
Click for Spokane, Washington Forecast
SPR Family of Underwriters: