(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

  • Jun. 1, 2018 3:00 p.m.

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

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

Mining company prospecting for gold near Bella Coola

Gold discovered in alpine areas where glaciers are receding

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

B.C. chowdery caught up in ‘rat-in-soup’ scandal to close

Crab Park Chowdery will be shutting down Jan. 20

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

Vancouver councillors unanimously approve motion declaring climate emergency

Vancouver joins cities like Los Angeles and London

Caribou herd disappears from Kootenays after last cow relocated

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Most Read