News from Around Banderas Bay | April 2007
|Pascuala: The Orphaned Orca|
Despite all the hard work of all the staff and volunteers at Dolphin Adventures, Pascuala unfortunately passed away on June 10th 2007.
"Pascualina," the baby Orca that was rescued off the Pacific Coast of Mexico near San Blas on April 12th, is still being cared for at the Dolphin Adventure Center in Nuevo Vallarta, where Vallarta Adventures' dedicated team of vets and marine mammal experts are nurturing her back to health.
Last weekend, Dr. Jim McBaine from Sea World visited the dolphin center in Nuevo Vallarta to lend a helping hand. Relocating the baby Orca to the larger, whale sized pools at the Sea World facilities in San Diego was discussed.
However, Mexican wildlife conservation laws do not allow marine mammals to be exported abroad, so for the time being, Pascualina will be staying in one of the larger dolphin pools at Dolphin Adventures. This pool has been prepared especially for the baby Orca and is separated from the other dolphin pools by a series of gates.
We'll keep you posted as the story progresses, so keep checking back for more video footage of Pascualina's stay at Vallarta Adventures (in English and Spanish.) For more information about the dolphin center, or to contact Vallarta Adventures, click HERE.
Ricardo Rebolledo, Dolphin Adventure dolphin trainer:
We received a call telling us about a stranded whale in san Blas. We moved her from the beach where she was to a restaurant close by with a small cement pool which we filled with salt water. An improvised stretcher was made to keep her afloat and where she was looked after adequately.
We arrived here (in Nuevo Vallarta) where we could move her with proper stretcher and were able to check her condition and weigh her. It turned out she was a female, 2m 47cm and very young, she even had her whiskers still.
Part of her umbilacle cord was still attached, a 3 cm long piece, so it was clear that she had been born recently.
We believe that she had been caught in a fishing net and later washed up on the shore. The locals attempted to send her back out to sea, but were unable to because of the high waves. There was a code yellow warning on the coast at the time, so the waves pushed her back against the rocks and she was injured even more.
“Protección Civil” wanted to make sure she survived and so called us. They did us the favor of taking us to Tepic, where we transported her on the Vallarta Adventure plane to our installations at Dolphin Adventure. We used a small fiberglass pool to hold her first with three quarters of her body under water and the other quarter above water to facilitate looking after her.
First we did everything we could to make her feel comfortable and calm, then the vet took some samples and found her to be healthy. She then called Sea World in San Diego so that they could advise her on the right milk formula to feed the baby orca.
Pascualina took well to the milk and started feeding quickly. We then moved her to this pool which you can see is slightly deeper.
If we want her to live, well, to save her right now means keeping her in captivity. She is newly born and right now she is learning what this is all about, she doesn’t know anything about the wild, but she is surviving right now.
Astrid Frish Jordan, Ecotours de Mexico Marine Biologist:
It’s so impressive! We would love for her to be in the ocean with her family, safe and healthy but at least we are able to do something positive and help an amazing animal such as this orca. There is a lot of satisfaction in knowing that everything that has been done and what has happened has been the best possible.
And despite the little experience that we have (with Orcas), the response to the situation was very fast and everyone acted fantastically.
Well, it’s a great satisfaction and now with the hope that she will be free and be able to grow up. It’s also a shame that these things happen - obviously it’s an error on mankind’s part that she was tangled in the nets but on the other hand we hope that we can remedy that wrong.
Something that really impressed me was the all help that the people of San Blas gave, everyone was very enthusiastic and very keen to help. It’s the combined efforts of these people working as a team with a wonderful result – Pascuala.