An orca that became stranded on the rocks in Alaska was rescued with the help of sailors and members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday, CNN reported.
The killer whale was discovered in the morning on Prince of Wales Island by a nearby vessel, the Steadfast, according to NOAA, which allowed rescue teams to use a seawater pump to “keep the whale wet and any birds away,” NOAA spokesperson Julie Fair told CNN.
“At times during the stranding, the killer whale was vocalizing, and other killer whales were spotted in the vicinity,” Fair said.
As the tide rose in the afternoon, the whale was eventually freed and able to swim away – according to a Tiktok user named Aroon Melane who filmed the incident.
Melane said in her video that the whale was stuck for a total of around six hours.
The orca was identified as a 13-year-old juvenile Bigg’s killer whale by Canadian conservation group Bay Cetology.
Images appear to show blood pouring from the whale’s side. NOAA said it is examining photos and video footage to determine if the animal was injured.
It was beached less than a day after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Alaska, but NOAA does not believe that this caused the whale to be stranded.
Bay Cetology told CNN that several other Bigg’s killer whales have become stranded on the North American coast in the last two decades, but all of them survived – sometimes with help from humans.