Orphan Killer Whale A73 Returns - Rescue a Success

Statement from Bob Lohn, 
Regional Administrator, NOAA Fisheries NW Region

Killer Whale Returns, July 13, 2003

I’m delighted at the early news that the killer whale we rescued from Puget Sound more than a year ago and returned to a family pod in Canada last July has apparently been spotted with her family off Vancouver Island. She’s safe and sound and we all can be happy and proud of that.

From the very beginning of the rescue 13 months ago we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the outcome of events that were always in doubt. This latest very pleasant surprise seems to be no exception.

By any measure this rescue, rehabilitation and return have been an unprecedented success.

Certainly the cooperation of the whale-advocacy community, Seattle-area businesses large and small and ordinary citizens made the rescue and return possible. And the scientific community learned an enormous amount about rescuing and rehabilitating killer whales in the wild from this event. This information is especially important because no one had made an attempt at such a rescue before.

I’m sure that all of us will be rooting for this killer whale and looking forward to seeing her return in future years.