Target: Lindsaye Akhurst, Rescue Center Manager, Vancouver Aquarium
Goal: Praise rescue and rehabilitation of false killer whale calf
A false killer whale is thriving after being rescued from a beach where it was found weakened, starved, and close to death. Six-week-old Chester was immediately transported to the Vancouver Aquarium’s marine mammal rescue center, where he spent the first weeks under close monitoring. Less than half a year later, the young creature has gained nearly 40 kilograms and has become much more active and outgoing. Chester is now quite vocal, plays with floating toys, and interacts with aquarium scientists.
Though Chester is still in the process of recovering, the debate about whether to keep him in captivity or release him has already begun. Some are suggesting that staff begin training Chester to capture live fish to feed himself, in hopes that he will eventually be released to a sea pen. Others worry that without the guidance of his own mother, Chester will struggle to survive by himself in the wild. Ultimately, it is up to the federal government to make a fair and informed decision about what will be best for the whale.
Without the help of scientists, veterinarians, and staff at the Vancouver Aquarium, it is likely that Chester wouldn’t have survived. Whether he is rehabilitated for release or kept in the aquarium’s rescue center, Chester will be able to live a full and healthy life. Sign the petition below to thank the Vancouver Aquarium for saving a helpless young whale.
Dear Lindsaye Akhurst,
Chester, a young false killer whale, is recovering well after being rescued by the Vancouver Aquarium. The whale was found near death on a beach, starved and emaciated. After being treated and closely monitored by veterinarians and scientists, the whale has gained 40 kilograms. Chester has become very playful and sociable, interacting with staff and making frequent vocalizations.
If the government of Canada so decides, the Vancouver Aquarium will also be responsible for preparing Chester to be returned to the wild. This will involve teaching the creature the survival skills it hasn’t learned from its mother, including how to feed and defend itself. If Chester is unable to be rehabilitated, he will stay in the care of the Vancouver Aquarium.
Regardless of the federal government’s decision, the Vancouver Aquarium has done an outstanding job in rehabilitating this animal. Without the help of skilled professionals at your facility, it is possible that Chester would not have survived. We, the undersigned, applaud your hard work and ask that you continue to care for Chester and other rescue animals with the same level of excellence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Public Domain courtesy of US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration