B.C. orphaned orca calf joins passing Bigg’s killer whale pod

The orphaned orca calf that was stuck in a lagoon near Zeballos, B.C., for weeks has now joined a passing Bigg’s pod.

kʷiisaḥiʔis, or Brave Little Hunter, swam out of the lagoon at high tide on April 26.

Officials and rescuers hoped the juvenile Bigg’s (transient) killer whale would meet up with and join her pod and in an update Friday, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said kʷiisaḥiʔis has now had the chance to meet up and join a Bigg’s pod.

“Bigg’s pods are very adaptable and open to adopting young animals and we remain optimistic about her chances of survival,” the DFO said in a release.

Click to play video: 'B.C. orphaned orca calf swims out of lagoon on her own'

B.C. orphaned orca calf swims out of lagoon on her own

The DFO said it is important to the calf’s survival that she is not disturbed and further habituated to people or boats.

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“DFO will be patrolling and monitoring the area to ensure there are no boats trying to locate her, which will impact kʷiisaḥiʔis’s (Brave Little Hunter’s) ability to join up with a passing pod. The team is also monitoring the location of the juvenile whale while she seeks out her family, the T109A pod,” it said in a statement.

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Everyone is required to keep 400 metres away from killer whales in southern B.C. and 200 metres away in all other areas of Pacific Canadian waters.

Disturbance to marine mammals could result in fines of up to $100,000.

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