The Orca is the only known wild whale to have been successfully reunited with her pod
August 17, 2011. Springer, an Orca whale, is the only known wild whale to have been successfully reunited with her pod.
She is the whale in the center of the photo.
First spotted with her mother in July 2000, Springer was sighted in the summer of 2001swimming with another female whale, but did not return to Johnstone Strait with the rest of her pod.
In January 2002, Spring was seen swimming solo between West Seattle and Vashon Island. Known for her friendly behavior – she fearlessly approached people in boats – her behavior caused grave concern among local environmental groups.
By March, Springer’s health began to alarm whale advocates and scientists and Orca experts begin monitoring her health. In April, plans are underway to reunite Springer with her pod.
Springer’s friendly behavior enabled experts to lure her in to a safety net that they then loaded to a barge and transported her to a net pen on Kitsap Island. After a battery of tests, it was determined that Springer had no communicable diseases and that she could be transported back to her pod. That happened in July.
Showing interest in passing whales, Springer left her pen and re-joined her pod.
By the summer of 2005, scientists and whale experts report that Springer is fully integrated with her pod and appears to be a normal and healthy whale.
Here is a complete timeline of Springer’s reunification.
Visit the OrcaLab blog.
Visit the Born Free Foundation Adopt Springer contribution page.
Special thanks to OrcaLab for their contribution to this story.