Orca whales can be very playful. As they swim the ocean in their pod, they can play with each other and have fun. But when it comes time to hunt for seals, the pod becomes a group of viscous killers. That’s how they earned their colloquial name – killer whales. But while one pod that lives off the coast of British Columbia along the western coast of Canada went hunting for seals, one of the orcas got stranded on the rocks. And because the animal was stuck out of the water, there was little hope for its survival. It needed the ocean to sustain its life. And because it was exposed to the elements, it was slowly expiring. The poor killer whale cried and wailed toward the sky in a desperate prayer than an angel would descend and help get it back into the water. The young female orca cried for a while. But then her prayers were answered. And an unexpected angel arrived to help free her from the outcrop of pointy rocks.
Because the orca was stuck on the rocks, she was in distress. Pain coursed through her large body and she was overwhelmed from feeling trapped against her will. And as anyone who has ever been stuck knows, it is a horrifying experience not knowing if you’ll be able to get free or not. The sensation quickly induces panic.
Fortunately animal rescue workers happened upon the scene. And they were equipped to take immediate action to help the stranded whale. But it would not be easy to lift the heavy creature off the rocks and help her swim away free to join her pod. As they helped keep the whale wet, they listened to her cries of pain and trauma and it broke their hearts. These angels just wished they could reach into the whale’s head and calm her down from the inside and tell her that they were there to help her go free and that it would just take some time.
The rescuers were united by George Fisher. He had received a sailboat call from the radio that reported the stranded whale. He knew that she must be distressed so he collected a group of volunteers who rushed out to help the trapped killer whale.
Because the whale had been trapped for some time, her time was running out. Her skin had dried and she was getting weaker as the tide continued to go out.
The first rescuers found the whale stressed and breathing fast.
Among those there to help the whale was Hermann Meuter. He works as a whale researcher and helped place wet blankets on the whale. And he organized the people pouring buckets of salt water over her to calm her down.
“I think she knew that we were there to help her,” Meuter recalls of the rescue.
For eight hours the rescue team stood by the whale’s side helping her remain calm as the tide came back in. They had no way to lift the large animal into the water, so they needed to wait for Mother Nature to offer her hand in the rescue.
In the end, the whale went back out to sea.