Saturday, June 16, 2007

Orca rescue success-better than Free Willy

Springer the orphan orca is living wild with her family group. She's a successful animal rescue story, one that seemed like it was headed for failure just a few short years ago.

When I first saw Springer the orphan orca, she was lolling in the water near the Vashon Ferry, acting like a pet. Now she's a wild animal traveling with her family group.

The once-orphaned orca, 2 years old and 11 feet long at the time, probably became separated from her family group, and looked for a comforting place to live. She befriended the Vashon to West Seattle Ferries, and the people on board. I was living on Vashon Island at the time, and you could count on finding the orca toddler playing with your boat if you rode the right ferry. Or, you could often see her lounging around the Vashon Island ferry dock. I've never seen anything like it, she was almost a Vashon Island pet.

After spending $ 400,000 plus to relocate the orphaned orca, Springer, back to her Canadian home waters, she's doing fine. She's a wild animal again.

I remember thinking it wasn't going to work, and that the whole thing was a waste of money. It seemed like a charade done just to make people feel good. Was the cost worthwhile? Perhaps, as a symbol of concern for wild nature. This orca that almost seemed like a friend of mine is now back where she belongs, and I'm glad to hear that.

Visible and expensive animal rescue efforts often seem like a waste of time and money. I used to think the California Condor recovery program was a waste too, but recent Condor success has made me change my mind. It now looks like the California Condor recovery program is worth the cost.

No comments: