A pod of killer whalers was on the hunt for seals along the remote coast of British Columbia, Canada. A typical hunt soon became a life or death situation for one of the orcas.
A young female orca made a decision that left her stranded and stuck on an outcropping of rocks. The terrified and confused whale was exhibiting serious signs of stress — she was overwhelmed and in pain as her massive body is perched on sharp rocks.
When rescuers spotted the stranded whale, they immediately started to do everything they could to try and comfort her. It was a traumatic situation for every involved.
The rescuers were heartbroken as they listened to the beautiful orca let out cries of terror and pain.
George Fisher heard a sailboat call in over their radio about the distressed whale — he immediately gathered a group of volunteers to try and help free the trapped orca. The whale didn’t have much time; her skin was drying up more and more as the tide went out.
Hermann Meuter is a whale researcher that helped respond to the rescue efforts. They quickly began covering the stranded killer whale with wet blankets and dousing her with buckets of salt water. She was starting to calm down.
When the rescuers first arrived, her breathing was fast and heavy; as they began to cover her with wet blankets and salt water, she started to relax.
“I think she knew that we were there to help her,” Meuter recalls of the rescue.