The return of little orphaned orca Springer (A73) to her home waters in British Columbia was in the end accomplished smoothly and with little fuss. Within days of her release on July 15th Springer was among her kin and the larger community to which she belongs. She spent the summer roaming around with them, socialising foraging and playing energetically, just like the other youngsters. Springer was with a large group of her relatives when they headed north in early October and in the closest company of Nodales (A51) who had become her surrogate mother soon after her release. Her great auntie Yakat (A11) who had also been Springer’s companion for much of the summer was close by as well. The departure was typical for these orca families at the end of their summer “season”. By November, storms were rolling across the Pacific with the shorter and less comfortable days that harken winter. Though a few resident orcas continued taking advantage of late salmon runs the majority were gone, including Springer and her companions. We are not particularly anxious for Springer’s welfare at this point, hoping that the bonds she was able to establish after her return will carry her through the long winter and that she will return safely next summer – a little older and wiser from all her amazing adventures.
Springer’s story, told via audio recordings of her and the other orcas can now be enjoyed with a new CD “The return of Springer” produced by OrcaLab.