Scientists
are calling it “a great sign”
and saying that “it gives us hope.”
An orca named Springer,
who is the first to have
been rescued as a sickly baby and then rehabilitated and released back into her
pod, has now had her first calf. 

DrTH80 | cc by 2.0 

Springer
became a celebrity 11 years ago when she was discovered alone and ailing in
Puget Sound after her mother died. A team of U.S. and Canadian researchers
rescued her and took her to an ocean pen where they provided her with
veterinary care. When she recovered, the team returned her to her pod, the “A”
pod of Canada’s Northern Resident orcas.   

The
first person to confirm the sighting of the new mother and her baby was Graeme
Ellis, a research technician with Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans’
Pacific Biological Station. “It was terrific,” he said. “To me,
it was going to be the ultimate sign that the re-introduction was a success…that
she became an active member of the population.”

Springer’s
successful reintroduction, pregnancy, and healthy calf are a stark contrast to captive
orcas’ immense difficulty breeding in such stressful conditions as well as
their high rate of premature deaths. A 10-month-old baby orca named Vicky died at SeaWorld
just last month. 

Springer’s
story bolsters orca advocates’ arguments that whales held captive at marine
parks—including Lolita, a member of the Southern Resident orca community, who has been held captive in
a tiny tank at Miami Seaquarium since her capture more than 40 years ago—can be released
back into the family pods
from which they were stolen
and can flourish in
their ocean homes.

What You Can Do

Please help
spread the word that marine-animal parks are where happiness tanks.

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Article source: PETA Files

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