WATCH: Chester the false killer whale calf tests out new larger pool
A false killer whale calf that was rescued near Tofino earlier this summer has been moved to a bigger pool while in care of veterinarians at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
Vancouver Aquarium says the larger pool will facilitate his ability to swim faster and dive deeper, which are important activities for his muscle development.
Chester has now been weaned off fish formula and eats eight kilograms of fish each day.
He currently weighs 109 kilograms and is now 2.2 meters long.
Chester is still being monitored 24 hours a day, and aquarium staff say they are still cautiously optimistic about his recovery.
The calf was spotted in distress at North Chesterman beach, just outside of Tofino, and transported back to Vancouver for emergency care in July.
Chester arrived in critical condition and had several lacerations and wounds on his body, likely from stranding and getting caught up on the rocks.
He has been receiving treatment, and veterinarians at the aquarium had to use a specially designed floating sling to support his weight in the water.
It is estimated Chester was four to six weeks old when he was found.
False killer whales are seldom seen along the B.C coast and are not related to the well-known killer whale, or orca, species.
It is an open ocean species found in the tropics in all oceans of the world.
Caring for a false killer whale is a unique experience for the Vancouver Aquarium.
The aquarium has been at the centre of controversy after Vancouver Park Board voted to ban all breeding of captive cetaceans at the aquarium.
The CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium announced Wednesday that the aquarium will be filing a legal challenge against the Park Board over restrictions to their cetacean program.
PHOTO GALLERY: Chester moved to a new pool