(Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans helped an entangled killer whale near Salt Spring Island on May 31, 2018. (Screenshot/DFO)

Entangled killer whale saved off B.C. coast

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans reminds everyone to call their emergency line whenever an animal is in trouble

Residents of Salt Spring Island helped alert the Department of Fisheries and Oceans this week to an entangled killer whale off the B.C. coast.

The transient orca had become wound up in commercial prawn fishing gear near Vesuvius, according to DFO officials, who say this isn’t the first time this particular whale has caused some minor chaos in the ocean.

“He’s known for playing with rope and floats,” said Paul Cottrell, marine mammals coordinator with the DFO’s Pacific region.

“He also has a bad habit of interacting with prop engines and nets, but in previous times he’s been able to free himself. This time he had gotten his tail wrapped.”

Cottrell said the DFO was alerted at around 7:30 Thursday morning, and members of their response team arrived two hours later.

“I do a lot of these rescues and the killer whale was quite calm when we were close and that was quite a different experience than dealing with humpback and grey whales,” he explained.

“This situation was a little different, and then the whale was able to roll out of the entanglement on its own.”

Cottrell credits the Salt Spring residents for quickly calling the DFO’s emergency marine mammal distress line at 1-800-465-4336 and alerting officials.

Once the whale had worked itself free, the response team followed along to make sure it was alright.

Seeing it swim, jump and slap the water with its tail, Cottrell only hopes the large mammal finally learned its lesson this time.



ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ucluelet fears orca protection could shut down fisheries

“I beg you to start a process to put a stick in the wheels and slow these people down.”

Ucluelet mayor thanks team at last meeting

Dianne St. Jacques is not running for re-election this month.

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

San Group announces plans to build new sawmill in Port Alberni

San Group has purchased 25 acres of Catalyst Paper land for expansion

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read