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Experts brainstorming new ways to rescue stranded orca calf

The Zeballos whale operation is still ongoing as responders are planning their next move.

According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), no on-water rescue activities were done on Saturday because the low tides are still stalling rescue operations.

In the meantime, responders are still planning other attempts, bringing in equipment, and evaluating the lessons they learned so far from trying to get the orca calf out of the lagoon.

The calf appears to be in good condition and they are monitoring its health.

Having attempted different techniques over the past week, the DFO says they have found some surprises. They used underwater playback sounds, which have been highly effective in moving whales out of dangerous situations in the past, only to find out that the calf finds them repelling.

While using pod sounds to maneuver the two-year-old towards the sand bar didn’t work, the most promising technique has been using Oikomi metal pipes, which when hit, act as a sound “wall” to persuade the animal through the narrow exit point.

DFO adds the efforts from First Nations members, community, government, and ENGOs have been outstanding, but they are working with limited time frames to effect a rescue.

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