In the summer of 2007, I was fortunate enough to travel to British Columbia and the waters north of Vancouver Island where the Northern Resident population of orcas spend their summers. One day, out on the water, I saw Springer or A-73, a young female orca whose story I knew pretty well.
Springer was found alone in 2002 in Puget Sound, many miles from home, after her mother died and she became separated from her pod. From her vocalisations, Helena Symonds at Orcalab, a WDC funded project and home to WDC’s Adopt an Orca programme, was able to identify her family among the Northern Residents. So began a project to rehabilitate her back to good health and return her to her home waters and an orca pod she would be accepted into. The project to save Springer was thankfully successful and her progress has been monitored as her pod returns to the waters around Vancouver Island each year. This year, now aged 13, Springer has been seen with her first calf. We are very excited at this news and wish Springer and her pod every success with their new family member. Another great chapter in the successful return of Springer to her home waters.