On July 10, 2014, Marine Mammal Rescue Centre staff were alerted to a young false killer whale who was thrashing in the surf near Tofino’s North Chesterman beach.
As Canada’s only team of professional rescue staff readily available to save stranded cetaceans, Marine Mammal Rescue Centre staff were brought in from Vancouver to save the distressed false killer whale. The Rescue Centre’s team, led by Aquarium head veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena, worked around-the-clock to provide critical care to the distressed cetacean. The team was able to provide this immediate care due to its 50+ years of marine mammal rescue experience.
Upon arrival, Rescue Centre staff immediately began administering emergency therapy. Upon approval from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, they began to transport the young male to the Rescue Centre in Vancouver.
False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens), distinct from the killer whale (Orcinus orca), are a rare species in British Columbia and are very rarely sighted. This is the first time our team has encountered this species and is reaching out to colleagues around the world, although very few veterinarians and other professionals have experience rehabilitating stranded false killer whale calves.