Highlights 2002

Episode 2
Episode 2 presents scenes from the story of Springer (A73) the little orphan orca who was found swimming alone far from her home range, near Seattle in Washington State in January 2002. Springer and her mother Sutlej (A45) had not returned with their family the previous summer, so it was presumed that both had died, but almost miraculously, Springer had survived. At first the young calf's identity was a mystery but recordings of her calls soon revealed her identity. Over several months a plan was formed that led to Springer's return to her home waters. She was captured, held for medical examination and then transported on board a high speed vessel to Dong Chong Bay on Hanson Island where she was welcomed by a crowd of vessels and spectators and gently placed inside a pen stocked with wild salmon. Springer began vocalising and eating almost immediately. That night other orcas including some of her closest family members drew near, and a dramatic exchange of calls took place between them. The next day, when the orcas returned and entered Dong Chong Bay, Springer was released. After several days of gradual adjustment, she was swimming comfortably amongst the other orcas -- Springer was home again!