Crying, beached orca freed to cheers after dramatic nine-hour rescue in northern B.C.
When a young orca whale was stranded on some jagged rocks on B.C.’s North Coast cried out in pain, Janie Hermann felt sorrow run through her whole body.
“It was so heartbreaking,” she said, speaking from Hartley Bay, a remote First Nations community about 145 kilometres south of Prince Rupert. “She was calling out from land. A transient call is quite mellow and has a sad tone to it, so listening to her — oh my gosh — that just goes right through your body and your heart.”
Hermann, a member of the environmental research group Whale Point, was one of team of residents and environmental workers, who worked desperately for almost nine hours Wednesday to keep the female calf cool and wet before the tide was high enough for the mammal to escape.
Listening to her — oh my gosh — that just goes right through your body and your heart.
The rescue began Wednesday morning after local researcher Eric Keen spotted the beached whale from a boat and notified the Gitga’at Guardians from Hartley Bay and Whale Point.
The Guardians are a coastal stewardship network that supports First Nations to monitor and protect the land and water. A team arrived shortly after, along with staff from the World Wildlife Fund.