VANCOUVER – Staff at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, run by the Vancouver Aquarium, are cautiously optimistic that ‘Chester’, the rescued false killer whale calf, will survive.
He was spotted in distress at North Chesterman beach, just outside of Tofino, two months ago and brought to Vancouver for care.
He arrived in critical condition and had several lacerations and wounds on his body, likely from stranding and getting caught up on the rocks.
Staff were concerned for his well-being because he should still have been nursing and he is a rare species to come into their care.
False killer whales are seldom seen along the B.C coast and are not related to the well-known killer whale, or orca, species.
GALLERY: Photos by Linda Aylesworth
But Chester is showing his fighting spirit and was recently moved into a larger tank so that he can swim on his own.
Staff still have to feed him via a tube every hour-and-a-half but say when he is hungry he now lets them know by going up to them and opening his mouth.
He is still under 24-hour surveillance and while it is not known how long he may be in the Vancouver Aquarium’s care, he still has some more recovery time to go before he can be released back into wild.
If anyone would like to make a donation to help Chester, they can on the Vancouver Aquarium’s website.
– With files from Yuliya Talmazan