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Listen: Why aren't more wayward orcas reunited with their pods like Springer was?

An orca breaches in the waters off Vashon Island.
Mark Sears
/
The Whale Trail
Springer breaches in Puget Sound near Vashon Island.

Last week, KNKX environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp brought us the story of a baby orca named Springer, who was rescued near Vashon Island after turning up lost and alone. Her rescuers figured out to which pod she belonged by listening to her calls.  

The rescue of Springer unfolded 20 years ago this month. And that effort – the community coming together to return a young killer whale to her family – remains the only successful example of orca rehabilitation on record. Why is that?

Bellamy Pailthorp joins All Things Considered host Ed Ronco to discuss this story.

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment beat for KNKX, where she has worked since 1999. From 2000-2012, she covered the business and labor beat. Bellamy has a deep interest in Indigenous affairs and the Salish Sea. She has a masters in journalism from Columbia University.
Ed Ronco came to KNKX in October 2013 as producer and reporter for KNKX’s Morning Edition. Ed started in public radio in 2009 at KCAW in Sitka, Alaska, where he covered everything from city government, to education, crime, science, the arts and more. Prior to public radio, Ed worked in newspapers, including four years at the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, where he covered business, then politics and government.
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