VANCOUVER AQUARIUM/DFO PRESS RELEASE, July 9, 2002

CANADIAN GOVERNMENT, RESEARCHERS AND THE VANCOUVER AQUARIUM BRING SPRINGER BACK TO BC

At a press conference at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre on July 8, Marilyn Joyce, spokesperson for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, announced that the killer whale A-73 will be transported from a temporary pen in Manchester, Washington to Johnstone Strait this Friday.

Clint Wright, the Aquarium's Vice President of Operations,explained that the whale will be lifted onto a 44-metre long catamaran for its trip north.

The journey, which spans about 400 nautical miles, will take between ten and twelve hours. A-73, or Springer, will be placed in a net enclosure in Dong Chong Bay on Hanson Island, an area that her family frequents in the summer months. Experts hope that members of the A-24 pod, Springer's matriline, will soon be in the area and that she will reunite with them.

Aquarium President Dr. John Nightingale said that the Aquarium team "is delighted to put several decades of animalcare and field research to use in this operation.

B.C.'s killer whales are among the most studied in the world, and experts are optimistic that the high level of knowledge about these animals will facilitate a successful rehabilitation of A-73.

The Aquarium has launched a fundraising effort to help defray the costs of the effort, which are estimated to run up to $500 000 U.S. The Aquarium is working in partnership with many other groups and organizations.

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