Ten years ago, the world witnessed the first successful rescue, recovery, and reintroduction of a wild killer whale. Springer (A73) was a two-year old orphan separated from her family when found three hundred miles from home. The little orca captured international attention and galvanized community support for a relocation effort.
The Vancouver Aquarium, in collaboration with government officials and advocacy groups, played an integral role in Springer’s successful rescue, rehabilitation, and reintroduction back into the wild – the first orca recovery effort of its kind.
Since then, the Aquarium and its partners have monitored Springer’s whereabouts and well-being. Today, Springer is in good health and is fully integrated with other wild killer whales, demonstrating both the resiliency of her species and the power of people working together for a good cause.
The Aquarium will be hosting a celebration commemorating the 10th anniversary of Springer’s rescue and her life since then. The evening celebration will include a summary film, panel discussion discussing first-hand accounts of the rescue, photo gallery of “Springer – then and now,” and an update on Springer 10 years later. Tickets are $10 per adult, and $5 per student and child.
The ongoing monitoring of Springer’s health and safety is one small part of much larger research efforts that take place at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Cetacean Research Lab, which is committed to supporting cetacean conservation. These research efforts are supported in part by the Vancouver Aquarium Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program, which has funded groundbreaking research that has helped protect the killer whale population and its habitat since 1992. This year, the adoption program celebrates its 20th anniversary in supporting killer whale research and conservation. Wild killer whales can be adopted here.