Chester, the false killer whale who was rescued last summer near Tofino, continues to shine in the spotlight and tug at the heart strings of our visitors. He is currently residing behind the scenes in the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre research pool, and ongoing donations continue to fund his rehabilitation and care. Two very special donations pulled at the heart strings of our staff this past month with kids leading the charge in his fundraising efforts.
Students at St. Michaels University School in Victoria have been following Chester’s story in the news and online since his rescue back in July. They were so amazed and inspired by his rescue story and subsequent rehabilitation at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre that they decided to put on a special fundraiser for his ongoing care. The students, along with the help of their teachers, organized a “Save the Whale” book sale. The goal of the sale was to adopt two wild killer whales through the Aquarium’s wild Killer Whale Adoption Program and to raise money for Chester.
The classes were successful in their fundraising drive and exceeded their goal. The adopted two killer whales and donated almost $500 to Chester’s ongoing care. At the end of January, the students visited the Aquarium to present their cheque to staff members and had a very special meet and greet with Vancouver Aquarium head veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena to learn more about Chester. We are very grateful for the support and enthusiasm of the teachers and students in the grade four classes at St. Michaels.
Another heartwarming donation came from even farther afield. Reese Jackson from Texas was also inspired by Chester’s story when she visited the Aquarium last summer. Reese followed his story with great interest and when she turned 13 on Christmas Day, she requested donations instead of gifts. Her accompanying letter touched our entire team.
We are very grateful and moved by the donations for that have come in for Chester, and all of our animals at our Rescue Centre. They come from near and far, and from donors of all ages. Most of all, the letters and cards keep our team energized when they spend cold, wet nights in the pool, rehabilitating more than 100 rescued baby seals each year, and caring for the 50,000 aquatic animals we have on site.
Thank you to St. Michael’s University School, Reese Jackson and the hundreds of other donors who have contributed to Chester’s rescue and care. If you would like to support Chester in his ongoing care at the Aquarium please donate today.