22 July 2013
Categories: Marine Campaign News, Homepage News
Springer, Born Free’s 13-year old adopted orca, has just been sighted with her first calf swimming next to her, in the waters off Vancouver Island, Canada. This report has a special significance for our charity; Springer has a fascinating story.
Born Free has supported Orcalab for nearly 20 years as, based on Hanson Island, they monitor and protect wild orca, and campaign against captive exploitation. Back in 2002 we helped them rescue Springer when she was discovered swimming alone in Puget Sound, Seattle. Just two years’ old, a toddler by orca standards, she had become lost when her mother died and was thin, in poor health and lonely. The captive industry was keen to take Springer into ‘safety’, but Orcalab was able to identify her by her unique calls and after four weeks recovering in a sea pen she was taken 250 miles, by boat, back to her wild family.
This report is especially timely with the release of Blackfish, an acclaimed documentary currently showing at select UK and USA cinemas exposing the lives and deaths of captive orca – and their human trainers. The film, previewed at the prestigious Sundance film festival, is a searing indictment on the entire ‘captive-orcas-as-entertainment’ industry.
Born Free has campaigned against keeping dolphins and whales in captivity since our charity began in 1984. Back in 1990 we actually helped return three of the last captive dolphins in the UK back to the wild in the Caribbean, in the ground-breaking ‘Into the Blue’ project.
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