In Hartley Bay, on the North coast of British Columbia, an orca whale was kept alive for eight hours by a team of volunteers and whale researchers.
The group responded to a call from a colleague about the beached orca which became stranded on some rocks at low tide.
“We decided the best thing to do would be to keep her cool, that meant to put water on her body and we used blankets and sheets,” said Hermann Meuter, a co-founder of Cetacean Lab. It was the only thing we could do.”
“At first, she was stressed, you could see that her breathing was getting a little faster,” said Meuter. “I think she knew that we were there to help her,” noting that she began to calm down once they began helping her.
As the tide rose, the orca slowly began freeing herself. “It took her about 45 minutes to negotiate how best to get off the rocks,” said Meuter. “We all just kept our distance at that point.”
When she finally broke free, she quickly joined up with other whales in her nearby pod.
“We all cared about this whale and we were just very lucky to give that whale another chance,” said Meuter.