Day three on this adventure south was full of an incredible diversity of life, from lunge feeding humpbacks eating colossal gulps of herring to Pacific white sided dolphins swimming along side resident orcas, to Steller sealions ripping apart chum salmon at the surface. Northern Vancouver Island is incredible.
We went to watch the screening of "The Whale", organized by @reelcanada this week. .
Here we were watching the moving and heartbreaking story of a southern resident killer whale who lost his pod and found a home with humans, and something hit us. This happened over a decade ago and we keep repeating the same mistakes. .
There was controversy of whether Luna should be given the attention and socialization he needed or none at all. 2 years after his appearance in Nootka Sound, Ken Balcomb offered a boat-follow option where he would lead Luna back to his pod. This would cost the government nothing. But DFO turned down the idea because they didn't want Luna to have anymore contact with people.
But a year later, once DFO received enough public pressure, they finally decided they should act. They decided to capture and translocate Luna to the southern end of Vancouver Island where he would be released. They also prepared for Luna to end up in an aquarium if that operation failed. This, was kept from the public's eye. If only they had listened to Ken Balcomb earlier, if only they had allowed him to lead Luna home, maybe things would have ended better. .
We left the movie with the same consensus... how are we here again? How do we keep ignoring scientists who have studied these orcas for the past 40 years? How does the government keep choosing the wrong decision over and over again? .
Now Ken Balcomb is fighting another fight. He's trying to get the 4 Lower Snake River Dams breached this year. But the government once again doesn't listen. .
There's something else we felt leaving that day... the story of Luna shows us just how far humans will go to protect orcas. And this is what's happening now. Your demands to breach the dams are being heard and they are shaking things up. So let's keep going to protect what we love. .
📷 Photo by Robert Harding of Luna L98
Orkid was born in 1989 in SeaWorld San Diego to Kandu 5 and Orky 2. Orky past away a few days after Orkid was born. Kandu was a very aggressive orca but she was also a very protective mother.
One orca, Corky, showed a lot of interest in Orkid. Maybe because Corky had 7 calf’s and all of them didn’t even make it to their first birthday. Kandu wasn’t the biggest fan of Corky. One day during a show, Orkid and Corky were in the same tank together and when Kandu was let into that tank, she rammed in to Corky. Corky was fine with a few minor injuries, but Kandu started bleeding out of her mouth and blow hole. Kandu past away after that. And the worst part about this, Orkid was only 11 months old! Corky took Orkid under her wing soon after that.
The death of both of her parents before her first birthday may have been the cause for her aggressive behavior. VERY aggressive behavior. One incident was shown in the famous documentary, Black Fish, with a trainer named Tamari (idk how to spell her name). Orkid was in a small tank and Tamari put her foot on Orkid’s nose ( rostrum) and took it off, put her foot on Orkid and took it off. Then, Orkid grabbed her foot and dragged Tamari underwater. After a couple seconds of panicking, one trainer decided to open Kasatka’s gate because Kasatka was the matriarch of the orcas in SeaWorld San Diego. And it worked. Orkid let go of Tamari and she survived. Tamari came out of the water with a fractured arm.
Orkid is still alive and is probably one of the smartest orcas in SeaWorld San Diego. She has lost many of the orcas she lived in her life. Including two orcas I didn’t mention named Splash and Sumar. The question is, if Orkid was a wild whale, would her life be better?
@australias_southwest fans, meet Nani. This orca was born in Bremer Canyon, home to one of the Southern Hemisphere's biggest seasonal populations of orcas. The @orcatalkoz team have been following Nani since 2014, monitoring his growth and development along with his family and friends 🐳 📷 @orcatalkoz
🐬🐬 Orcas spotted on @rottnestexpress last week! What a magical whale watching season WA is experiencing! Tuesday's guests were lucky enough to be visited by a group of seven inquisitive orcas, which is an EXTREMELY rare sight. What a treat!
Video: William Carew-Reid from Rottnest Express
No orca has ever killed a human in the wild yet the majority of us will watch this with utter fear. Interesting isn't it? Why do we fear and eagerly read the headline stories the media like to feed us, why do the masses choose to believe the hysteria over the facts and reality? How can the medias opinion control our emotions so much? Experiment! Let's all take a moment to watch this video again, try to reduce your anxiety that the kids will get attacked (as we know they don't) remove the video sound so the onlookers shouting not to move and their groans of distress don't influence your emotion. Instead watch it again, turn the sound off and imagine these calm and intelligent mammals seek nothing from those kids except to satisfy their curiosity. Imagine the orca are simply passing the kids because they too are in the water, nothing more, nothing less, they mean them no harm.. So tell me, can you do it or are you still experiencing fear when watching the video? Honesty please! I'm curious.....
Whatever the outcome, one things for certain, those kids will never forget that once in a lifetime moment.
Video found via @surfp_rn & @sharksneedlove -
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Met the sweetest family today!! I had actually taught their son at a nature based preschool in Gig Harbor a few years ago and now he’s attending the same elementary school as I did. ☺️ They said this was their first ever family photo shoot and they did amazing! They were so easy to work with and so adorable. 😍
We were hoping to get Mt. Rainier in the background, but the fog has been crazy lately and didn’t clear enough. 😕 Oh well, at least we got these beautiful fall colors!
Orcas stun and kill herring by swatting their tails through the school of densely packed fish.
The talented @paulnicklen knew that if he positioned himself next to several stunned herring then there was a chance that an orca would feed next to him. However, No one ever expected a huge male orca to approach this close.
Killer whales hunt in deadly pods, family groups of up to 40 individuals. There appear to be both resident and transient pod populations of killer whales.
These different groups may prey on different animals and use different techniques to catch them.
Resident pods tend to prefer fish, while transient pods target marine mammals.