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

At 2:30 a.m. Friday at high tide, B.C.’s orphaned orca whale calf, Kwee-sa-hay-is or Brave Little Hunter, swam past the sandbar her mother beached and died, under a bridge, down Little Espinosa Inlet, on to Esperanza near Zeballos.

The calf has been stuck in a shallow lagoon since March 23, when she and her mother swam through a narrow channel connected to the ocean.

When the tide went out, it left her mother who was pregnant, beached on the rocks. The mother died shortly thereafter.

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A team of experts has spent weeks trying to coax the orca calf out of the lagoon and successfully fed it, but concerns were running high about how the two-year-old orca was going to leave.

“After most everyone had left to get some sleep the small group who remained stood as witnesses to watch her swim under the bridge and down the inlet,” a press release from the Ehattesaht First Nation said.

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“The team later found her in Espinosa Inlet and followed her from a distance as she moved toward Esperanza Inlet proper. This morning they will encourage her out toward the open ocean where it is hoped that the Brave Little Hunter’s calls will now be heard by her family.”

— More to come.

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