SEAWOLF PRESS RELEASE, April 7, 2004

Washington Killer Whale to be Retrieved from Canadian Waters - Local Groups Launch Public Fundraising Effort for Operation

Marysville, WA - Washington-based marine mammal groups Project SeaWolf and Global Research and Rescue (GRR) will be launching a joint campaign to raise public funds for a translocation and reintroduction plan for ‘Luna’ (L98), the orphaned orca whale currently stranded in British Columbia, Canada’s Nootka Sound. Fundraising for the effort will be applied directly to the costs of the Canadian component of Luna’s recovery.

Working with the Vancouver Aquarium, the US National Marine Fisheries Service (MS) and the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DO), SeaWolf, and the founding members of GRR were instrumental in the successful reintroduction of the orphaned Killer whale ‘Springer’ (A73), back to her family pod in British Columbia. GRR and SeaWolf will again be partnering with the Marine Aquarium Science Center, the DFO, and NMFS in supporting the intervention effort for ‘Luna’, a young male orca whale from the endangered ‘J-pod’ killer whale population in Washington State waters, and stranded in a remote Canadian inlet.

“Our commitment is to make sure that all funding raised toward this operation goes directly to hard costs associated with the effort,” says Michael Kundu, director for Project SeaWolf. In consultation with John Nightingale, President of the Vancouver Aquarium, SeaWolf has established a target of $250,000CA, to be raised by May 15 to ensure that the rescue can be carried out this spring. “We’re going to do our best to make sure that the resources to help this young orca are made available to the team conducting this operation.”

“This intervention team has amassed the experience to make sure that this whale receives the best chances of survival, adds Bob McLaughlin, a SeaWolf board member and director of GRR. “Our efforts with Springer in 2002 contributed a great deal of benefit in our understanding of orca whales, and now we have the ability to apply that information to Luna.”

Interested donors can send contributions to Project SeaWolf at Post Office Box 929, Marysville, WA 98270, or visit the groups website at www.projectseawolf.org and make a credit card donation. Alternatively, donations can be sent to GRR (on the web at www.grrescue.org) at 5400 South Cameron Road, Freeland, WA 98249. Please mark donations as ‘Luna Rescue Fund’.

“SeaWolf is a federally-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the United States, and will issue donors official US tax receipts for all of their contributions,” adds Michael Kundu, international director and founder of SeaWolf. “Donors can be ensured that their support will be directly applied to the intervention efforts - since we’re an all-volunteer organization, it will not get diverted into overhead costs.”

GRR and SeaWolf are Washington-based, state registered organizations operating primarily in the Pacific Northwest waters. For more information, contact GRR at 800.369.7447, or SeaWolf at 360.653.4780..

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