Stranded orca calf Little Brave Hunter swims out on her own 

Stranded orca calf Little Brave Hunter swims out on her own 

The two-year-old female orca calf Little Brave Hunter swam out of a remote lagoon in Canada on her own on Friday. The orca had been stranded in the Little Espinosa Inlet on Vancouver Island for over a month. 

Her exit happened early Friday morning during high tide. “At 2:30 AM during the high tide on a clear and glass calm, star-filled night, kʷiisaḥiʔis (kwee-sa-hay-is) – a little hunter who is brave and talented) swam past the sand bar her mother passed away on, under the bridge, down Little Espinosa Inlet and onto Esperanza all on her own,” members of Ehattesaht First Nation said in a Facebook post

They will encourage the orca calf to swim towards the open ocean. “It is hoped that the Brave Little Hunter’s calls will now be heard by her family.”

Orca calf needs her family

On March 23, her mom died after becoming trapped on a sandbar in the lagoon’s shallow waters. “Since her arrival, kʷiisaḥiʔis has become part of the Ehattesaht family,” the Ehattesaht First Nation said. “She is like one of our children who has lost their mother. We need to get her to a place where her grandmothers and aunties can take care of her.” 

“Right now, those aunties cannot hear her. She is isolated in a small lagoon at the end of a small inlet. Her cries for her family only echo on the steep rock of the mountainside, and never over the gravel bar to the open ocean. It is too far. A two-year-old, as brave as she is, still needs her family.” 

“She has not yet learned to hunt. She has learned to be wary of humans, and rightly so. As she frantically swam nearby, her mother lay stranded on the beach in the dark. At first light, she was suddenly surrounded by humans, and her mother never came back.”

The Ehattesaht First Nation has heightened patrols and protective measures to ensure the calf’s safety from boats and human interaction. They emphasize the connection between the spirit and animal worlds and the significance of this event.

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are highly social creatures who typically live in family pods.

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