Scientists with the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Research Program are reaching out to the public for suggestions on the name for Springer’s calf.
In 2002, the Vancouver Aquarium rehabilitated and released Springer, a one-year-old wild resident orca whale who was found orphaned after her mother had died. It was a rare success story that also reunited Springer with her pod.
More than a decade later, she is now contributing to the population with her one-year-old calf. Orca whales that have survived their first year, the most challenging period in their life, are usually given a common name.
Currently, the mother and her half are monitored as part of the world’s longest continuous study of orca whales, which includes photo identification, acoustic and DNA analysis. One of the most groundbreaking discoveries was in the 1970s when researchers realized that each orca whale has unique markings on its dorsal fins and saddle patch that can be used to identify it.
The Vancouver Aquarium Marime Mammal Research Program is asking the public to submit their suggestions for the name of Springer’s calf. Suggestions can be submitted via email to [email protected] with one to two sentences about the significance of the name.
The gender of the whale is not known, so officials are suggesting that gender-neutral names would be best.
Submissions will be accepted until July 16 and voting will begin on July 18. The winning name will be announced later this month.
To learn more about Springer and her rescue story, visit www.vanaqua.org/springer. To find out more about the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Research Program or the Aquarium’s Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program, visit killerwhale.vanaqua.org, or its facebook page.
Featured Image: Vancouver Aquarium