(Springer, photographed in 2002 by West Seattle-based researcher Mark Sears)
She’s one of the most famous orcas to pass through West Seattle waters – and as we first told you a month ago, the 10th anniversary of Springer‘s family reunion will be celebrated on Alki 11 am-3 pm this Saturday, at an event hosted by West Seattle-based The Whale Trail. The latest update on the festivities:
Ten years ago, a ferry quartermaster noticed a lone juvenile orca (A73, Springer) near the north end of Vashon Island and contacted local researcher Mark Sears, who confirmed the sighting. These actions led to the only successful orca reunion in history, being celebrated this Saturday at the Alki Beach Bathhouse with first-hand accounts of the rescue, updates about Springer and why her story matters to the recovery of the Southern Resident orcas today, a killer whale mask dance, and dedication of four new West Seattle Whale Trail signs. Hosted by The Whale Trail.
*Duwamish Tribe Singing Feet Dancers
*Introductory remarks by Martha Kongsgaard-Goldman, Chair of the Leadership Council of the Puget Sound Partnership
*Stories of the rescue and reunion by members of the rescue team
*Le-La-La Dancers, First Nations dance company from Victoria who were present when Springer went home
*Information about orcas and kids’ activities
Participating organizations include NOAA Fisheries, the Seattle Aquarium, Seal Sitters, the Whale Museum, and Friends of Lime Kiln.
Celebrate Springer! events conclude with a festival July 12-15 in Telegraph Cove, British Columbia where Springer was reunited with her family in July 2002.