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Rescued false killer whale 'Chester' moves to bigger pool

Chester, the false killer whale calf found stranded on a Tofino, B.C., beach in July, continues to show signs of improvement and has been moved to a larger pool at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Vancouver Aquarium celebrates another milestone in false killer whale calf's recovery

Chester, the false killer whale calf  found stranded on a Tofino, B.C., beach in July, continues to show signs of improvement and has been moved to a larger pool at the Vancouver Aquarium.

“Thursday was a big day for Chester," according to a statement from the Vancouver Aquarium. "Chester was moved to the larger pool at the Rescue Centre, facilitating his ability to swim faster and dive deeper, which are important activities for his muscle development."

The young false killer whale calf, a species of dolphin rarely seen off the coast of B.C., was found stranded on July 10, 2014. (Neil Fisher/Vancouver Aquarium)

The false killer whale calf—named for North Chesterman Beach where it was found—was unable to swim when locals discovered him the morning of July 10. 

The calf had multiple lacerations, likely from the stranding, and his teeth indicated he was still in the nursing stage, rescuers said.

Two weeks later, the false killer whale calf graduated from being exclusively tube fed, and began feeding from a bottle.

Staff at the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre said the move to a larger pool this week "is another step forward."

Chester, shown here on Thursday, continues to show signs of improvement, rescue centre staff say. (Vancouver Aquarium)

Chester is still being tube fed every hour and a half, and is having whole fish added to his diet to begin the process of weaning.

The calf, which weighed under 70 kilograms when it arrived in Vancouver, now weighs 102 kilograms.

"Our Rescue Centre staff members are cautiously optimistic about his recovery and continue to monitor him 24 hours a day,” the aquarium said.

Like killer whales, or orca, false killer whales (Pseudorcacrassidens) are a species of cetacean and members of the oceanic dolphin family. However, false killer whales are rarely sighted in B.C. waters.

Chester gets used to a new environment at the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre 1:00
 

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