Killer whales hold a special place in the hearts of animal lovers and conservationists. They’re handsome, charismatic, and highly intelligent. So intelligent, in fact, that they can communicate with each other using a sophisticated language, even coordinating their hunting. The killer whale earned its name by being one of nature’s champion “apex predators,” ruling the waves at the top of the ocean’s food chain. Fortunately for us humans, they don’t think we’re tasty and sometimes they even make friends with us.
One summer morning in 2015, a pod of killer whales was hunting for some breakfast in British Columbia’s Hartley Bay. A young female made a potentially lethal rookie mistake and ended up stranded on some rocks after the tide went out. The frightened whale was literally crying out for help. Luckily, someone heard her. Better still, it was someone who knew all about marine mammals and could summon more people to help out.
You might think it was just a matter of tying a line and dragging the whale back into the water. But in fact, moving the whale was out of the question: the sharp, barnacle-covered rocks would have inflicted severe injuries. What the rescuers had to do was wait for the next tide and hope the water would be high enough that the orca would be able to safely free herself. Meanwhile, it was vital that they protect her from the sun. They covered her with towels and spent the next 8 hours pouring water over her to keep her skin from drying out. According to George Fisher, one of the rescuers, “At first she was stressed out — you could see that her breathing was getting a little faster. But after a little while, I think she knew that we were there to help her.” Fortunately, the next tide was high enough and the rescuers cheered as the stranded whale finally was able to swim away.
Check out the video posted below and let us know what you thought of the incredible dedication of these friends of the natural world. Be sure to like and share!