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New Calf for Once-Orphaned Mother A73

New Orca Calf for Norther Resident Pod Member A73 Springer
New Orca Calf for Norther Resident Pod Member A73 Springer
A73 Springer with Her Calf, Born Last Winter. Photo Courtesy Graeme Ellis, Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, July 4, 2013


There’s a new baby in Canada’s Northern Resident A pod. This calf is of even greater interest than most, because it was born to A73 Springer, who as a 2-year-old orphaned calf, made her way 400 miles south to Vashon Island.

Starving and suffering from a skin condition, Springer was so lonely she was trailing after ferries and bonding with small boats and driftwood. After six months, she was finally rescued by a group of concerned activists  and organizations. Springer was nursed back to health, carefully making sure she did not become dependent on humans; once healthy she was reunited with her pod.

You can read about Springer’s rescue and successful reunion with her pod on the Noaa website, and see video of her release on CBC.

The calf is already well beyond the critical first six months, so it has a good chance of survival. No doubt, this new mother and calf will be even more closely watched than normal, to see if Springer’s traumatic experience as an orphan has affected her abilities as a mother.

I don’t know about you, but stories like this just make my heart swell with joy!


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