Orphaned orca reappears off B.C. coast with family of her own

Springer swimming with pod.
Lance Barrett-Lennard/Postmedia NewsVancouver Aquarium/Files , Postmedia News

An orphaned killer whale who made headlines around the world when she was reunited with her pod off the coast of British Columbia has re-appeared,  with her own thriving calf in tow.

Whale researchers spotted Springer this week in the Inside Passage off B.C.'s North Coast.

Springer, or A73, was the first orca to be rescued, rehabilitated and successfully released back into the wild in 2002.

She was a two-year-old when she was found near Seattle, ailing and separated from her pod of northern resident killer whales.

Springer and her calf,  A104,  were first seen last year and the latest sighting is reassuring to biologists that the young whale has survived the most dangerous period of life for the animals.

Lance Barrett-Lennard from Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Research Program says both whales appear healthy and robust.

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