A baby orca became stranded in a lagoon near Vancouver Island. (Photo: Nicolette Audy via X.)

Brave Little Hunter is free! The orphaned orca calf was trapped in a Vancouver Island lagoon for five weeks. Now she’s in the ocean again, looking for her pod.

A sad start

Her story begins with a tragedy. She and her mother swam into Little Espinosa Inlet March 23. They entered the remote lagoon, probably chasing a seal.

Her mother got stuck on a sandbar. People from Zeballos, an Ehattesaht First Nation village, found the mama orca. They tried to rescue her. But when the tide came in, she drowned.