Photo Credit: Whale Point/Facebook
An orca that was helplessly stranded on some rocks was kept alive for eight hours by a dedicated team of whale researchers and volunteers on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada.
When a man spotted the desperate stranded orca on Wednesday, he immediately called for help, and a group of Guardians from Hartley Bay joined people from For Whales to voyage out and assist.
A Facebook post from the group read: “She cried often, which tore at our hearts, but as the tide came up there were many cheers as this whale was finally free.”
Hermann Meuter, a co-founder of Cetacean Lab explained, “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.”
“It was the only thing we could do,” he added.
As they began to help, Meuter said he could see the orca’s behavior change. “At first she was stressed, you could see that her breathing was getting a little faster, but after about 15 to 20 minutes she began to calm down.
Finally, around 4 in the afternoon, the tide began to rise and the orca was able to start freeing herself.
Meuter said that it took her about 45 minutes to negotiate how best to get off the rock, and at that point, the rescuers kept their distance.
When she swam away, the orca was quickly reunited with her pod, which was waiting nearby.
“We all cared about this whale and we were just very lucky to give that whale another chance,” said Meuter.
Watch the incident here, but you might want to grab a tissue: