Chester, the three-year-old false killer whale, who died last Friday.

False killer whale’s death linked to bacterial infection

Vancouver Aquarium releases statement on preliminary results from a necropsy on Chester

The Vancouver Aquarium says preliminary results from a necropsy show a false killer whale that died at the facility last Friday had a bacterial infection.

An email statement from the aquarium says it appears Chester, the three-year-old false killer whale, died of erysipelas, an illness veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena says has resulted in the deaths of wild cetaceans and those in human care.

Haulena says it is the first known case of the disease at the aquarium.

Because it is infectious, Haulena says Helen, a Pacific white sided dolphin who shared a pool with Chester, is being treated with antibiotics.

Chester was brought to the aquarium when he was just a few weeks old, after being found stranded on a Vancouver Island beach in July 2014.

The aquarium has said the false killer whale, a member of the dolphin family, remained a “health challenged animal” throughout his life.

Chester’s death leaves Helen as the aquarium’s only remaining cetacean, and the statement says options to find a companion for her are limited by a Vancouver Park Board bylaw banning the acquisition of new whales, dolphins or porpoises.

The ban was imposed in May, months after two beluga whales died nine days apart from what officials said was a mysterious illness.

In June, a nine-year-old rescued harbour porpoise named Daisy also died. The aquarium said at the time that preliminary necropsy results showed the animal had pulmonary disease.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NIC and other schools will provide information on program pathways, partnership agreements and tips for transfer students. File photo
Vancouver Island colleges, universities host virtual tours

The tour includes representatives from North Island College

Crew members with the Western Canadian Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) deploy a containment boom from one of their workboats during a fuel spill drill in Alberni Harbour on Oct. 15, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni WCMRC team learns the spill drill

Spill response members simulates fuel spill for practice in Alberni Harbour

Smokey Port painted by D.F. Gray during the eighth annual Paint Out. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni’s DRAW Gallery celebrates art online and in person

Fall in Love With Art! exhibit runs until Nov. 27

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

Most Read