Orca calf stranded in lagoon in Canada will be airlifted to the ocean, rescuers say

Orca calf stranded in lagoon in Canada will be airlifted to the ocean, rescuers say

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VANCOUVER, Canada (AP) — An orca calf stranded in a remote tidal lagoon north of Vancouver Island will be airlifted from the area in an effort to reunite it with its family, Canadian authorities said Wednesday. .

The plan involves putting the two-year-old calf in a harness, taking her out of the lagoon by helicopter and putting her in a net enclosure in the ocean while they wait for her family pod to be nearby to release her, Department of Fisheries and Fisheries officials said. of the First Nations.

Rescuers have been unable to remove the calf from the area since its pregnant mother became stranded in the lagoon at low tide and died on March 23.

The plan was agreed upon during a meeting between Ehattesaht First Nation council members, Department of Fisheries officials and marine technical experts.

Ehattesaht First Nation Chief Simon John said his people have a deep cultural and spiritual connection to orcas and have received calls of concern and support from around the world.

Paul Cottrell, marine mammal coordinator for the Department of Fisheries, said the rescue will occur in the next two weeks.

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