Thursday, September 11, 2014

Orca Pod Helps Entangled Orca Breathe

Dian is a special orca (killer whale).  She’s a 35-year-old wild orca that lives in New Zealand waters.  On Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, Dian, named for the famous gorilla researcher, Dian Fossey, was found struggling.
Cray/Crab Pot.
Dian was entangled in a rope which was attached to a heavy cray/crab pot resting on the ocean floor. It was too heavy for Dian to constantly lift and reach the surface to breath. This orca was in big trouble from entanglement.
A disentanglement team rushed to rescue the orca and discovered the most amazing thing.  Dian’s pod, including a calf, were lifting her to the surface so that she could breathe! 
Dian entangled with her pod pushing her up for air. Photo from
Orca Research Trust

Dian was rescued and is okay.  She swims free of ropes and cray pots today. 
This story comes from the Orca Research Trust in New Zealand, and Dr. Ingrid Visser, who has studied the orcas in New Zealand since 1992.

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