Posted by: The ocean update | July 23, 2015

Stranded killer whale rescued on B.C.’s North Coast (Canada)

The tale of an emotional rescue of a stranded orca whale on the northern coast of B.C. is making a splash on social media. A transient orca became stuck on some rocks on Wednesday afternoon in Hartley Bay and was rescued by volunteers and high tide after six hours. Photograph by: @whalepoint , Twitter

The tale of an emotional rescue of a stranded orca whale on the northern coast of B.C. is making a splash on social media. A transient orca became stuck on some rocks on Wednesday afternoon in Hartley Bay and was rescued by volunteers and high tide after six hours. Photograph by: @whalepoint , Twitter

July 23rd, 2015 (Tiffany Crowford). The tale of an emotional rescue of an orca whale stranded for more than six hours on the northern coast of B.C. is making a splash on social media.

A transient orca became stuck on some rocks on Wednesday afternoon in Hartley Bay, a remote First Nations community about 145 kilometres south of Prince Rupert, according to a Facebook post by the environmental group For Whales.

The group posted some heart-wrenching photos showing the mammal stuck on some jagged rocks, and wrote how the whale was crying out. By Thursday morning, the post had been shared more than 1,500 times, and hundreds of people had left messages praising the team of rescuers.

The rescue began after someone spotted the beached whale from a boat and the Gitga’at Guardians from Hartley Bay, according to the post. The Guardians are a coastal stewardship network that supports First Nations to monitor and protect the land and water. The post says members of the team arrived, along with staff from the World Wildlife Fund.

They used a water pump and wet sheets to keep the whale cool and wet.

“It was a team effort, and fortunately on some level this transient orca understood that we were trying to help. She cried often, which tore at our hearts,” the post said. “But as the tide came up there were many cheers as this whale was finally free after (more than six) hours of being stuck on this rock.”

Many social media users described the effort as amazing and others said they had so much respect for how quickly the team acted to save the whale.

Update : “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 swam away, the orca was quickly reunited with her pod, which was nearby. Identified as 9-year-old T069A2.

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