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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 for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to
Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.