Orphaned orca: Rescue attempt begins at remote B.C. lagoon

ZEBALLOS, B.C. — A rescue attempt to save a killer whale calf stranded in a remote tidal lagoon near Zeballos, B.C. is underway.

Road access to the lagoon is blocked by members of the Ehattesaht First Nation, but an official at the scene says an attempt to get the female orca calf out of the lagoon and transferred into the open ocean has begun.

A First Nation official who declined to provide his name says the attempt is going ahead because of the favourable weather conditions. 

A statement from the First Nation says work is expected to take much of the day and the federal Fisheries Department, the Vancouver Aquarium, and the nation will brief the media when the operation has concluded.

The two-year-old calf has been alone in the lagoon for more than two weeks after its pregnant mother became beached at low tide and died.

Earlier this week federal officials said a team of about two dozen people were involved in preparing the planned landing area for the complex rescue

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2024.

The Canadian Press