With both information queries and support pouring in daily for Chester, the false killer whale calf rescued off Chesterman beach in Tofino last month, we knew it was time for an update.

When Chester first arrived at the Marine Mammal Rescue Center on July 10 he was underweight, malnourished and had a number of lacerations and injuries from being battered around in the surf. With a coordinated rescue effort including staff from the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the District of Tofino bylaw enforcement, Parks Canada and officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, he was transported back to the Rescue Centre and his around-the-clock care began.

2014July10 - 002 False Killer Whale - NeilFisher

It was touch and go for the first several weeks due to Chester’s young age and his lack of strength. He needed to be supported in a custom made sling as he was not able to swim on his own and accompanied by two Aquarium staff members in the pool with him at all times.

False killer whale rescue

Chesters custom made sling helped him stay afloat the first few weeks at the Rescue Centre.

Today, Chester is doing remarkably better. He is swimming on his own and is displaying lots of energy. He is curious about his environment; exploring each new person who joins him in his pool and is responding to tactile touch, showing off his underside for daily belly rubs.

False Killer Whale Calf Rescue

Chester recovering well back at the Rescue Centre.

The veterinary team is still continuously monitoring Chester’s health and checking his respiratory rate to ensure he is free from infection. He is still being tube fed every few hours with the hope of moving him onto a fish diet in the near future as his teeth have now come in.

False Killer Whale Calf Teeth

Teeth on the way in for Chester.

“We are cautiously optimistic about Chester” says Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. “He is still under 24 hour care, but has shown great improvement in his condition since he was first brought to the Rescue Centre.”

We are keeping our fingers crossed for Chester as he continues to improve, growing stronger every day. Thank you to everyone who has donated to his ongoing care and the many volunteers that have helped out over this tremendously busy time at the Rescue Centre.

Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, presented by Port Metro Vancouver and supported by Teekay Shipping, is a non-profit hospital for sick, injured or orphaned marine mammals. With a cost of $400 a day to feed and care for Chester, donations are greatly appreciated.

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8 Responses

  1. SWC Member

    I support you guys!!! Glad to see that little Chester is doing well and I hope the Vancouver Aquarium wins their legal battles! (Gotta come see you guys sometime)

    • Vancouver Aquarium

      Thank you Kimberly for your generosity! We are continuously working to raise funds to help with Chester’s ongoing care, as well as the other sea pups (over 100!) that currently reside at the Rescue Centre. There are lots of different programs you can donate to, as well as different ways to give including monthly donation options. If you would like to learn more about these opportunities to give to the Aquarium visit: https://www.vanaqua.org/join/support/how-to-donate. Thank you again for your support!

  2. Allan Murphy

    Heard your moving interview on “On the Coast”. How can I donate some $ for Chester?

  3. shea eaves

    You guys are such an amazing and dedicated group! Chester is so fortunate to be in your very knowledgeable and capable hands. Keep up the great work, and thank you for sharing the photos and updates! Stay strong, Chester!!!


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