We have another returning whale, and it's an exciting one!
Back in 2017, in Ahous Bay, Big White (CSG27) brought her calf. While they were hanging out in the bay for a few weeks, another juvenile grey whale started to socialise with the calf. The juvenile was nicknamed "Lasso". It had white markings around the tail stock, and the name came about because the guides on the water imagined that it's how the tail would look if it had been lassoed around the tail. To be clear, the whale hasn't been lassoed, but it's an easy name to remember.
Why do we need that nickname? Well, this whale now has a code: CSG1007. The name Lasso helps us remember what he/she looks like, whereas the code doesn't. Our photographs from 2017 and 2018 were the first images of this animal to be recorded with the researchers in our area, and... Lasso is back!
Mixed in with other marks around the tail, Lasso has an odd but very identifiable marking on the starboard side of the tail stock. Some people see an "E", others an "M" or a "W". Each year that symbol or marking has changed slightly, and yesterday one of our eagle-eyed guides captured the tail and we wanted to share with you the changes in markings that have occurred since 2017.
Images in reverse: 2019, 2018, 2017.
Lasso has now been recorded in Clayoquot Sound in 3 different years, and specifically in Ahous Bay each year as well. Here's hoping that Lasso continues to return and we can continue to plot the changes as they develop.
Images captured using a telephoto lens and cropped (heavily to show the tail markings). All legal and whale wise guidelines are followed during our tours.
Mother & Calf Separations (Part 1)
In line with their highly sociable lives killer whales are incredibly family-orintated. Research suggests adult male offspring of tightly-bonded resident populations will live with their mothers for their entire lives (excluding brief periods of temporary separation for breeding purposes); spending up to 70 percent of their time within one body length of their mother until the day she dies. Although females may disperse from their mother’s pod to raise their own young, they can often be found close by and will return to visit their mother. In fact, mothers are so vital to their offspring that, as research suggests, female killer whales will experience the menopause to live longer to care for their adult young.
The death of a mother can have a devastating impact on her offspring. Within the first year of their mother’s death, young males were 3 times more likely to die than males whose mothers were still alive. Adult males over the age of 30 were 8 times more likely to perish, with older daughters 2.7 times more likely to die. Resident populations are so family-orientated that the only way of joining a matriline is by being born into it, and the only way of leaving it is through death. Similar to humans, family is of great importance to orcas. Despite this, marine parks across the globe insist on separating offspring from their mothers. 20 mother and calf separations have occurred in captivity, 70% of which involved calves under the age of five. Only four of these separations were necessary either due to violent inexperienced mothers or the requirement for superior medical care at a different facility.
Mother and calf separations are emotionally devastating for both parties. Orcas have been known to injure themselves during, and fall in states of depression after, such cruel events.
Photo: J53 Kiki beside her mother, J17 Princess Angeline (Southern Resident population) - photography by @gary_j27
Follow us @Catherine_Hansen_Whale for more💝
📷 Via : @inherentlywild
The current predicament of over 100 wild-caught whales in Russia’s Srednyaya Bay is becoming increasingly concerning as winter takes its hold. The water in the bay is becoming frigid which poses a significant problem for the tens of malnourished calves who are struggling to maintain a healthy blubber supply. With no defence against the extreme cold, the calves might succumb to hypothermia. The 11 killer whales are believed to be in especially poor condition as they’re being forced to consume a diet of fish, something completely unnatural to the mammal-eating population they originate from. Worst still, the captors have claimed three of the youngest belugas have “mysteriously escaped”, although it’s more likely these calves perished from stress, disease or malnutrition. Reports submitted to law enforcement officers confirmed the missing whales are unweaned calves with no teeth. As beluga calves normally nurse until their teeth emerge at 12-18 months old, there is no possibility these three motherless calves could have survived if they really did escape. The captors incorporated a high death toll into their total take which is why such an obscene number of belugas were captured; around a third were expected to perish before finding a buyer.
However, there is some more positive news. There’s an ever-growing likelihood that the surviving calves will be rehabilitated and released with even the Russian Navy offering its Pacific Fleet to assist rescuers in transporting the whales to another location. A plan is in the works to determine the best way to go about helping all 98 remaining whales with suggestions of satellite transmitters being used to monitor their progress upon release.
Don't forget to follow:➡ @Catherine_Hansen_Whale 😎
🌸 Tag & Share with your Friends⤵
🎬Directed by @inherentlywild
Well, today was interesting. I interviewed a couple that let the federal government leave a dead whale on their beach to decompose (so many dead gray whales, they’re running out of spots). Then this nice couple gave me a 20 million-year-old fossil rock. The stench was something serious so I’m glad to have left that behind. The rock is in my purse. Just another day…🙃
If you see a grey whale arching it's back - or even lifting its tail - when close to shore, it could be a sign that they're feeding. In sandy areas, close to shore, these large whales feed in or on the seabed.
The most common food source for them in these areas is amphipods. These are small crustaceans, similar to the sand hoppers on the beach. They occur in densities averaging 25,000 per square metre. This is a good thing, as they only measure 3-8mm in length.
Keep your eyes peeled when watching these guys close to shore. You might see the "mud plume" generated when these guys filter the sand through the baleen plates in their mouth. It's a sign that the whale you're watching is feeding!
An interesting find and an interesting story. I was just about to finish my twelve mile loop hike from the mountains to the sea when I came over a little depression on the beach. Suddenly, there was a decomposing whale carcass right in front of me, something I’ve definitely never seen before when visiting the beach. I was extremely sad and worried about the state of our marine world the entire rest of the way home. When I got home I started researching why would a whale be beached like that; was it plastics, chemicals or something else I could feel guilty about for hours? Apparently, this isn’t the first gray whale to be found on the beach dead this summer along the Californian coast. There have been more than a dozen dead gray whales this past month that have washed up on shore. This whale washed up May 23rd where it has been rotting away since then. The culprit can’t be confirmed but there has been a trend of starvation in the whales washing on shore. If you look close, you can see where marine biologists did a necropsy on the whale’s stomach. Some whales have been damaged by boats but it is likely a secondary cause of causality due primarily to the starvation. Marine biologists think the cause of starvation may actually be due to the increase in gray whale populations and a lack of resources to go around to the entire population before they migrate. Hopefully the cause of these deaths can be confirmed soon and maybe we can do something to help or maybe this is something that keeps their population in balance. #whale#whaletail#nature#ocean#population#beach#graywhale#ecology#starvation
Over 1 million marine animals — dolphins, fish, sharks, turtles and birds — are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean as there‘s an estimated 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world...and its only getting worse with an estimated 60 billion pounds of plastic to be produced this year alone!
It’s time to change and to refuse ! ♻️
Follow us @whales_orcas for more 💙
Great video by Julian Jordan from his short film “The Last Straw”
DoubleTap & Tag a Friend Below⤵
🙏 Plz Follow us - @Danielle_Cook_Whale
Tag your love 😘
✅ Turn Post Notification on 📣
✅ Follow, like and comment ✏
✅ Tag your friends 👥
My band looks like we met at the monkey bars. Jokes on y’all, we met at your moms. (Thanks Sharon.. happy to help w/ yard work anytime)
Anyway, took a month off cuz bad boy to my right had a dang baby (grats really tho), so next show is
July 6th at the Art Garden w/ @mortigitempoofficial @burnellwashburn & @scenicbyway
This lineup is rad, should be xtra beachy!! 🌊⚰️😤💯
Disturbing footage has surfaced from Port of Nagoya Aquarium. The footage taken in 2017 shows the aquarium’s belugas viciously fighting amongst themselves. One individual in particular (a male named Khudoy) receives the brunt of the attack, sustaining a nasty wound that bleeds profusely for several minutes. As this injured beluga swims past the glass his countless scars and shredded skin become visible, indicating he is frequently the victim of excessive aggression. Confined within four concrete walls and deprived of any means to escape, Khudoy is forced to endure every bite, rake, ram and tail slap inflicted upon him. For Khudoy, life in a tank is one filled with pain, distress and helplessness.
Video: 海獣観察記 (YouTube) cropped by @dolphin_project
Behind the scenes footage of Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park’s killer whale stadium has shown trainers getting up-close and personal with the marine park’s four transient (mammal-eating) orca. In the video, two of the trainers step over the raised ledge designed to protect them and into the water; another stretches to reach one of the orcas by leaning on her stomach. I cannot emphasise enough how dangerous this is. By stepping into the water, or leaning over the ledge, the trainers put themselves in an incredibly vulnerable position and make it considerably easier for one of the orcas to grab a limb and drag them into the pool.
Such an incident has occurred before and ended with the brutal death of a trainer. Dawn Brancheau, senior trainer at SeaWorld Orlando, was killed in February 2010 after 26-year-old Tilikum grabbed her and pulled her into his tank. Tilikum proceeded to slam into her repeatedly, grabbing her and shaking her violently as he moved through the water. Brancheau sustained horrific injuries during the attack. Her scalp was completely torn off from her head and her spinal cord was severed, as was her left arm below the shoulder. She had also sustained fractures to her jawbone, ribs and cervical vertebra. Dawn Brancheau’s death could have been avoided had she not been allowed to put herself in a vulnerable position with a killer whale, much like Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park's trainers are now doing nine years later. I sincerely hope history does not repeat itself. What's particularly infuriating is the fact these trainers are being consulted by a former SeaWorld killer whale trainer - someone who lost a colleague in a similar way to how these trainers are interacting with Haichang's orcas.
Video: Chill Dog Training (Facebook)
Don't forget to follow:➡ @Richelle_Phillips_Whale 😎
🌸 Tag & Share with your Friends⤵
🎬Directed by @inherentlywild
✔ Please doubletab and tag a Friend below
This is incredible 🐋🙌🏽 Who else wants a photo like this? 😍
Photo and caption by @guillaumenery
« The male singer and @juliegautier.nery .
I went down to 35m to take this picture. After 3 hours spent alone with him, he accepted us. He allowed Julie to dive down at 25m while I was facing him, just below. That was for sure an incredible, crazy, unique, unbelievable experience. »
Follow us @Catherine_Hansen_Whale 💝
💕 Make sure you push like follow for daily pics! 😃
💞 Thank you my friend
Yesterday, along with the the sea otters, sea lions, eagles and incredible sunshine and scenery, our guests spent some time with this cow and calf grey whale in Ahous Bay.
This calf will have been born after an 11-13 month gestation period. They are born in the waters off Baja, Mexico. Once the youngster is strengthened up, the pair make their journey northwards. During this time the calf is feeding on the mother's milk, which is an incredible 53% fat.
The calf may appear very small - and it is compared to mom - but they're born just less than 5 metres long and weighing in at 680 kilograms.
Every day is different on the water here, and it was very exciting for us to spend some time observing the behaviour of this pair.
Images captured using a telephoto lens and (in this case heavily) cropped. All legal and whale wise guidelines are followed during our tours.
Gray whale washed up on shore. Mourning is silence in my culture. I adopted the culture deeply. Sometimes words make my feelings cheaper. What would you really say if the feeling is indescribably heavy and sorrowful? When death happens around me I stay silent and just be there for my people. That's all I can do.
Yet another dead Grey Whale found dead - this one found this weekend off NW Vancouver Island. From Mexico to Alaska, now more than 72 Grey Whales have been found dead since January 2019, most since March. This is only a fraction of those that may have died as dead whales most often sink and because our coastline is so vast. A case in point is that this dead whale would not have been found were it not for surfers in this remote area of Vancouver Island. The number of deaths has led to the declaration of an "Unusual Mortality Event" by NOAA in the USA which triggers scientific investigation into the cause. Of those that have been necropsied to date, a significant number appear to be emaciated. The leading hypothesis is that warming waters in the Arctic mean the whales did not get enough food in 2018 and now, when returning from Mexico on their migration (where there is little to no food for them) to the Bering Sea, they do not have the reserves to make it back to the feeding grounds i.e. they are running out of steam.
Very grateful that observers knew to call this in to the Incident Report Line at 1-800-465-4336 so that more may be learned about the deaths.
Thank you Heidi Zealand, Kelly Aspinall, and Brad Zealand. Photo: Kelly Aspinall. #ume#greywhale#graywhale