British Columbia’s family under the sea has grown and needs help finding a name.
A young killer whale named Springer made headlines in 2002 when she was found in poor health in Washington’s Puget Sound. Seventeen years after she was rescued and released by staff at the Vancouver Aquarium, she now has a family of her own.
The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and the aquarium is asking for help again with her second.
The calf, formally known as A116, just turned two years old, the aquarium said in a release Friday. The first two years of a whale’s life are the most challenging, so now it can be given a common name.
Although its sex is not known, whale researchers have made a list of potential names: Spout, Storm, Sointula and Sutil.
Researchers commonly name whales in B.C. after geographic locations. These four choices have a significant connection to where the calf was first spotted or where Springer was released.
Teams have been monitoring Springer and her pod of northern resident killer whales since the 1980s, off the waters of northern Vancouver Island and as far north as Alaska. Sixteen pods of more than 300 whales make up this group.
Go to ocean.org/namethecalf/ before March 8 to cast your vote.