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Lucas Nielsen

on 13 January 2017

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Transcript of Chester

Chester the
False Killer Whale

What else we do know:
False Killer Whales live in pods of up to 100 in the southern and tropical oceans and it is extremely rare that they would come into our northern waters. I actually saw a pod near our boat when I was in Mexico a few years ago. Whole pods are known to beach themselves but it is unknown why. Even when they are rescued they often go and beach themselves again. The following pictures were in Australia.

About False Killer Whales
The Rescue:
by Lucas Nielsen
To save & rehabilitate him took many thousands of hours of loving effort. Chester was so weak that there had to be people in the rehabilitation tank with him 24 hours a day for 4 months in the cold water. He had to be tube fed for a long time before he could even suck on a bottle. He is the only stranded baby False Killer Whale in the world ever to have survived a rescue. There were dozens of staff and volunteers who worked to save him over the next many months. Everyone became very attached to him and he has become like family to everyone.
The False Killer Whale
pseudorca crassidens
(which means false orca thick tooth) was named by a scientist who found a skull and noticed it was very similar to an orca skull but different. It is actually a dolphin (orcas are dolphins too) which can be a bit confusing. I think they should be named something else. Maybe something like Amicus Delphinus (friendly dolphin). They are a "data deficient" species as there is not much known about them. We do know some things though. We know that they eat fish and other marine mammals, and that they could live 50-60 years.
He was very weak & they had to hold him for many hours to keep him from drowning in the surf before the Marine Mammal Rescue Organization got there many hours later. MMR is part of the Vancouver Aquarium. The creature was discovered to be a baby False Killer Whale. MMR brought him back to the Vancouver rehabilitation facility.
There is a False Killer Whale at the Vancouver Aquarium named Chester. We met him the day he was introduced to his present habitat that he shares with a Pacific White Sided Dolphin named Helen. We were fascinated by his story and went to visit him often. This is how we developed a relationship with him and why I chose to do a school project on him. We became good friends.
More Videos:
There have been a few known cases of aquarium dolphins and False Killer Whales mating, and the offspring are called Wholphins.
Because of the hard work & dedication of the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, & the love of all those at the Aquarium & MMR, my friend Chester had a second chance at life & is a great reminder why we need to take care of the animals in our oceans. I have been very happy to get to know him & am very thankful for such a great experience.
Please make choices that are friendly to our very important oceans & support the Vancouver Aquarium in their efforts of Research, Rescue, Rehabilitation, Education & Environmental Conservation as they continue to Engage, Amaze & Inspire...

Media Attention
After my first presentation at the Vancouver Aquarium, the CBC and CTV did a couple stories about my friendship with Chester. The reporters think its strange but to me, it is normal. Chester is smart like a big dog and he is going to recognize faces that he sees often, especially when he sees so many faces a day.
The best thing that happened next was our trip to Tofino. Tourism Tofino heard about the media attention and invited us to see where Chester was rescued and to meet his rescuers. Tourism Tofino treated us like royalty. Meeting the rescuers was a highlight of our whole experience. This was very very special.
Before After
He is 2 1/2 years old & loves people. He is almost 10 feet long but only about half his adult length. He is learning behaviors from his trainers quickly. He knows how to show parts of his body & mouth for checkups, & to go where the trainers tell him to. He is becoming more & more active & is learning acrobatics from Helen. He has started breaching out of the water for fun & attention, sometimes during the sea lion show, which can be quite disruptive to the show when everyone runs over to see what the big splash was. I have learned so much about Chester from the trainers & the show interpreters, & every show is different, informative and entertaining.
On July 10, 2014 some people walking along North Chesterman's Beach in Tofino, BC, came across a stranded animal washed ashore. The first authorities to respond were from Dept of Fisheries & Oceans, & Parks Canada. They first thought he was a porpoise & tried to push him back into deeper waters but he kept washing back to shore. When they noticed he had no teeth they realized he was a baby but not sure what kind of animal.
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