(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

Bevy of remarkable birthdays celebrated in Aldergrove

Maudie MacPherson (age 101), Vera Banner (91) and Alice Utas (95)

Pond hockey banned in public parks under updated Township bylaw

Public spaces bylaw imposes new restrictions on smoking, possession of drug paraphernalia, geocaching and more

Golfers tee up for Langley Memorial Hospital

Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation’s 22nd annual charity golf tournament sells out

Election 2018: Kim Richter withdraws from mayor’s race, runs for council instead

In a Facebook post, Richter announced she will seek another term on Township council

More office, retail space planned for Willoughby Town Centre

Fourth phase now underway as Township council grants third and final reading

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

Police responding to ‘unfolding’ incident in Maple Ridge suburb

Helicopter, dog team, guns drawn and 16 police vehicles at Maple Ridge property

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

Most Read