Orca Calf Stranded in Canadian Lagoon for Over a Month Successfully Swims to Freedom

ZEBALLOS, BC — In a heartening turn of events, Kʷiisaḥiʔis, a 2-year-old orca calf stranded in a secluded lagoon off Vancouver Island, finally broke free from her confinement early Friday morning, as reported by the Ehattesaht First Nation.

Around 2:30 a.m., the young orca, whose name roughly translates to “brave little hunter,” swam past the sandbar marking the site where her mother tragically lost her life and out of Little Espinosa Inlet.

The Ehattesaht First Nation shared the momentous occasion on TikTok, recounting how Kʷiisaḥiʔis delighted onlookers with playful breaches and displays of energy near the causeway bridge before venturing further into the inlet.

With hopes high for her safe passage, a team later located Kʷiisaḥiʔis in Espinosa Inlet, anticipating her journey westward toward the open ocean.

Kʷiisaḥiʔis and her pregnant mother initially found themselves trapped in the lagoon after navigating a narrow and swift channel leading from the ocean. Despite earlier rescue attempts by members of the Ehattesaht First Nation in April, Kʷiisaḥiʔis proved elusive, making it challenging to execute the planned rescue operation involving boats, divers, and nets.

As Kʷiisaḥiʔis embarks on her journey beyond the confines of Little Espinosa Inlet, she leaves behind a community that stood witness to her struggles and triumphs, symbolizing hope for her future in the vast expanse of the ocean.

To learn more about recent orca whale sightings and the possibility of kayaking with whales explore more of the Sea Quest Kayak Tours website.