Chester – His Journey from Orphanhood to Adoption

The Vancouver Aquarium: Abounding with Beauty and Wonder

Have you ever met Chester? Well, everyone has a story and Chester is no different! He was just a little “baby” false killer whale (a member of the oceanic dolphin family) when he was rescued on the beach near Tofino, BC, in the summer of 2014. At the time, he was only a few weeks old and hadn’t even grown teeth yet. Stranded on North Chesterman Beach, hurt and scrawny, no other members of his species were nearby – not even his mother. Chester was brought into the care of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.

Chester’s rescue effort back in July, 2014. Source: Vancouver Aquarium

Once he was restored to tip-top shape, a group of marine mammal experts, who were called together by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, all agreed that Chester could not be released into the wild. He’d had considerable contact with humans, was very young, and lacked hunting and social skills. False killer whale calves at his age, in the wild, are completely dependent on their mothers.

If you’ve ever had the privilege of visiting the Vancouver Aquarium, then you will understand first-hand the beauty, awe, and wonder of seeing marine life up-close. The Vancouver Aquarium has been involved in the rescue of marine mammals for more than 40 years, rehabilitating and releasing animals, including California sea lions, harbour seals, Stellar sea lions, elephant seals, a harbour porpoise and even a killer whale.

As the first-ever and largest public aquarium in Canada, the Vancouver Aquarium takes pride in its global reputation as a leading marine science centre. Home to more than 70,000 animals, more than one million people from all over the world visit every year to see the whales, dolphins (like Chester), snakes, and otters, to name just a few.

The Flag Shop has worked with the aquarium on many special projects over the years, producing everything from custom banners, to event backdrops, tents, curtains, pennant strings and of course, flags. Through our interactions, we know the aquarium is about so much more than beauty and wonder (as if that were not enough)!

Various projects we have done for the Vancouver Aquarium throughout the years

The breath-taking allure of marine life is undeniable and the aquarium’s mission statement is equally impactful: “The Vancouver Aquarium is a self-supporting, non-profit society dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through display, communication, education and public programming, research and direct action.”

The aquarium is also an Ocean Wise® initiative. Ocean Wise® is an organization of educators, conservationists and scientists who work together to fulfill a vision of a world where our oceans are healthy and flourishing. Over-fishing is a real and global concern, combined with the threat of extinction of ocean species, relating to climate change. The Vancouver Aquarium is a leader in taking action against this threat through its research and conservation efforts. Ocean Wise® certifies sustainably harvested seafood, helping consumers to make informed and responsible decisions with their seafood menu selections.

Chef Ned Bell of Vancouver Aquarium. Source: Vancouver Aquarium

If you’re in the Vancouver area and would like to explore and learn more about the importance of sustainability and education relating to marine life, visit the aquarium, or go to the Vancouver Aquarium website:

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