When massive sea mammals beach themselves, time is a crucial factor in determining whether they’ll survive on land or not.
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Tara Neilson recently reported that her niece discovered a stranded orca on the coast of Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. She wondered if the recent 8.2-scale earthquake they’d suffered had anything to do with it.
“In all the years I’ve lived here I’ve never heard or seen anything like this,” Tara tweeted.
Within hours of the discovery, local Alaskans headed over to where the killer whale rested on the rocky shore to try to keep the animal alive until rescue workers from National Marine Fisheries Service arrived on the scene.
Hauling buckets of water from the surf, these heroic strangers banded together to keep the whale wet and scatter the circling sea birds.
A ship was soon authorized to use a water pump to take over for the Good Samaritans and their buckets. Julie Fair of NOAA Fisheries identified the whale as a 20-foot juvenile. They began working to identify the whale and find out what pod it came from. There were other whales in the area, and the beached juvenile was calling out to them as if asking for help.
Thankfully, all of these helpful humans’ efforts paid off! High tide was due around 5:30 but actually came a few hours early around 3 p.m. As the tide rushed in, the whale was able to dislodge itself from the rocks and float back out to sea.
“Reports from the scene indicate that the whale was a little bit slow at first and meandered around a little bit, and then swam away,” Julie said.
We’re so happy this story has a positive outcome! It’s always great to see humans working together to save another life from a terrible fate.
Share this story to thank these kind Alaskans for helping the orca get back home.
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