Chester Meets Helen at the Vancouver Aquarium

photo: Helen and Chester

Helen and Chester | Photo: Vancouver Aquarium

Chester, the false killer whale rescued last summer on a beach in Tofino, has a new home at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. Following weeks of periodic meetings, Chester has successfully integrated with Helen, a rescued Pacific white-sided dolphin, in his new permanent habitat in the Wild Coast. Visitors can now see him and learn more about this species that is rarely spotted off the coast of B.C.

“Chester settled in extremely well to his new habitat, and has been exploring the new space with the same playfulness and curiosity he has displayed throughout his rehabilitation,” said Brian Sheehan, marine mammal curator at the Aquarium. “Chester is an animal that was given a second chance at life. His recovery has been truly remarkable, as he beat the odds of survival and is now thriving at Vancouver Aquarium.”

Chester was found stranded as a very young calf on July 10, 2014 on Chesterman Beach in Tofino, B.C. The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre was called in to save him. He received around the clock care at the Rescue Centre and later at the Vancouver Aquarium.  Against all odds, Chester survived. On May 26, 2015, he was deemed non-releasable by Fisheries and Oceans Canada noting that the animal would not survive if he was released into the wild. The Vancouver Aquarium was asked to provide a long-term home for Chester.

Visitors to the Vancouver Aquarium can now view Chester and Helen at the Wild Coast habitat from the outdoor area and through underwater viewing.

“There’s been a great deal of interest in Chester already,” noted Brian. “It’s so important to create this awareness and interest in aquatic life. Visitors have an opportunity to engage with a false killer whale and are leaving with a greater understanding of the species, our rescue and rehabilitation efforts and what they can do to further the conservation of animals in our oceans.”

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