By Nadine Pinnell
On June 28 2004, Doug Sandilands, who works with the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network from September to June, called the network with exciting news. In his summertime role as a warden for the Robson Bight – Michael Bigg Ecological Reserve, Doug spotted A73 (Springer) alive and well in Johnstone Strait.
Early in 2002, Springer was spotted in Puget Sound, alone and in poor health. In response to worldwide concern about her future, the Vancouver Aquarium and Fisheries and Oceans Canada reintroduced Springer to the Johnstone Strait area in July 2002. Following her release, Springer gradually spent more and more time travelling with her relatives, eventually leaving the area with them for the winter. She and her relatives returned to the Johnstone Strait area for the summer of 2003.
“Confirming that Springer survived her second winter after her release, and stayed in the company of her pod for the second year in a row is fantastic news”, says Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, senior marine mammal scientist for The Vancouver Aquarium. “Doug, who has many years of experience monitoring killer whales in Johnstone Strait, noted that she looks healthy and well”.