Who can forget the 2002 rescue of the little-orphaned orca Springer (A-73) who was returned home?
Since then, Springer's rescue teams meet annually to "Celebrate Springer!" and talk about how they identified, rescued and rehabilitated the orca as she reunited with her Northern Resident family off the north end of Vancouver Island.
“Springer’s story is an inspiration on many levels,” said Paul Spong of OrcaLab. “It proved that an orphan orca, alone and separated from her family, can be rehabilitated and returned to a normal productive life with her family and community; and it showed that disparate parties with diverse interests can come together and work together for the common goal of helping one little whale.”
But this year's celebration is a little different: Springer has a new calf! That means during the 15th-anniversary celebration, you could see Springer and her two calves. Her first calf, Spirit, was born in 2013.
The new calf was initially spotted on June 5 off of British Columbia's north central coast by CetaceaLab. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada later confirmed the new addition.
"Celebrate Springer!" will take place July 21-23 at Telegraph Cove, British Columbia. There is a public event on July 22 starting at 11:00 a.m. where participants can hear "Springer's Story." The new Whale Trail sign will be dedicated at 4:00 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m. the public can partake in a salmon dinner on the Boardwalk.
“We can hardly believe it has been 15 years since Springer was reunited with her family. We encourage everyone to come and celebrate this milestone with us at the Whale Interpretive Centre in Telegraph Cove,” said Mary Borrowman, director of the Center. “The most exciting news is the confirmation that Springer has had another calf and we hope we will be fortunate enough to see this famous mother with her family this summer.”