The very rare false killer whale calf that was rescued last week is still in critical condition, according to the Vancouver Aquarium.
Lindsaye Akhurst, manager of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, said that although the calf is showing signs of getting stronger, he is still unable to swim on his own and requires 24-hour attention.
“He is either always kept in his sling or there are people in the pool with him to support and monitor him,” Akhurst told Vancity Buzz.
“We are nowhere near out of the woods but are hopeful that he will continue to show signs of improvement.”
The calf, estimated to be between four to six weeks old, was rescued by the aquarium on a beach near Tofino. The calf was found with lacerations and wounds along its body.
Considering the rarity of the false killer whale species, which tend to prefer the open ocean and have rarely been spotted in B.C. waters, Akhurst says that the medical team is facing a new set of challenges in caring for the young cetacean.
“It’s a very unique situation for us having such a rare species in our midst,” said Akhurst. “In the past, we’ve done so much work in rehabilitation and learned a lot about how to care and nurse these animals back to health, but never of this precise species.”
“There are some similarities but also a lot of differences. It’s a great learning opportunity for us,” said Akhurst.
Featured Image: Vancouver Aquarium