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

NDP wants Chilliwack-Kent MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

New youth housing in Chilliwack comes with wrap-around supports

The 16-unit building on Mellard Avenue will be for youth experiencing homelessness or at risk of it

PHOTO: Chilliwack photographer captures incredible image of Comet Neowise

Comet that’s visible to the naked eye will be easiest to see on July 23

Upper Fraser Valley RCMP re-open community policing offices

CPOs have been closed for weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but re-opened Tuesday

PHOTOS: Sunbathers soak up the warm weather at Cultus Lake Park

Temperatures reached a high of 25 degrees celsius on Tuesday, marking the hottest day of July so far

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. health officials pleased with likely extension of Canada-U.S. border closure

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the situation is ‘very serious in the United States’

‘Perfect storm’ led to bad year for mosquitos near Fraser River

High river levels and lots of rain meant many eggs hatched this year

South Surrey mom frustrated by city’s response after son, 10, has severe reaction to park grass 

City of Surrey parks manager says ‘potential steps’ to address concern under review

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

Children suffer swollen eyes, burns while playing at Lower Mainland spray park

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Most Read