Vancouver Island University's gray whale skeleton at the Deep Bay Centre for Shellfish Research is coming together quickly with continued support from the community and help from some amazing volunteers. Articulating has officially begun, starting with the flippers this week. The next step is to begin gluing vertebrae onto backbone steel and figuring out the tricky internal rib mounts.
We received a call from Fisheries last week asking us to find and identify a reported very sick-looking killer whale in Ganges harbour. After following the animal for about an hour we were able to positively identify it as a Risso's dolphin. These animals are usually found offshore and are highly social, so it was very strange to see one in shallow waters here. The last reported sighting of a Risso's dolphin in these waters may have been as long ago as the late 1970's. When we left it, it was behaving fairly typically and heading out of the harbour. We don't know exactly why it ended up here on its own and hope that it has since made it back to its usual habitat.