Whale watchers in British Columbia recently witnessed a rare encounter in which a group of killer whales appeared to be attacking a humpback whale’s mother and calf in the Salish Sea.
A video footage shot by a local sailor off Nanaimo on Vancouver Island on May 29 shows a killer whale (also known as: Orca, Repeatedly slammed into nearby water Humpback whale pair, According to CHEK news..
Witnesses describe the 30-minute encounter as an aggressive attack by 13 killer whales that may have targeted humpback whale babies. In the video, you can hear the onlookers saying, “I think I killed the calf.” However, although there is no evidence that the calf was killed, it never reappeared after the attack, and the calf has not appeared since then. Vancouver Island Whale Watch (VIWW), A whale watching company involved in the subsequent investigation of these particular humpback whales.
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VIWW oceanographer Rodrigo Menezes told CHEK News, “Hopefully you can see the calf alive.” But for now, [there is] Many speculations about it. “
Cetacean experts are also uncertain whether this rare encounter was a truly deadly battle or just an accidental splash between whales.
Temporary killer whale
Although encounters may be considered rare, killer whales are known to sometimes behave aggressively against other marine mammals. For example, in February, a flock of killer whales flocked off the coast of Australia to try to drown a young humpback whale that managed to escape. Live science reported at that time. In March, the blue whale was not so lucky. Seventy killer whales hunted down and killed mammals in hours of battle off the coast of Australia. Live science also reported..
Recent encounters with humpback whales included so-called temporary killer whales from three groups, T100, T123, and T46B, from southeastern Alaska to Mark Maleson in central California. A marine biologist at the Whale Research Center in Washington told Live Science.
Unlike resident killer whales, which feed on salmon, temporary killer whales are known to target other marine mammals and some seabirds, Marson said.
Transient and resident killer whales are considered to be the same species, but due to their different geographical distribution and feeding habits, they rarely mix and are classified as different ecotypes or subspecies. According to the Whale Research Center..
Humpback whale numbers are increasing in the Salish Sea and have only recently returned to the region after being driven away by mass commercial whaling in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Marson said. Told. According to Maleson, the number of temporary killer whales visiting the area has also increased over the last few decades. He added that these increases in populations mean “more interactions between humpback whales and killer whales than before.”
According to Maleson, whale watching companies like VIWW “have more opportunities to look at water,” which makes it more likely that two species of encounters will be recorded.
However, despite increasing encounters, the deadly interaction between killer whales and humpback whales is almost unheard of in the region.
“In the last decade or two, we’ve seen some interactions between humpback whales and killer whales,” Malleson said. “But it’s not yet a deadly attack.”
Did the killer whale kill this humpback whale calf? That’s certainly possible, Marson said.
“If there were enough killer whales to separate the mother from the calf and they decided, it would certainly be possible,” he said. “But I’m not sure this was the case in Nanaimo. “
“Many people misinterpret what they see when killer whales are harassing large whales,” Maleson added. If the calf’s life is really at stake. If so, the mother would have worked harder to stop the killer whales, Andrew Trites, a marine mammal researcher at the University of British Columbia, told CHEK News: “Probably they [the orcas] I was just trying water and found a chance. “
Killer whales slam their bodies against the surface of the water to stun their prey, but in this case the killer whales may have only been playing with calves, Trites said.
VIWW told Live Science by email. However, “there were no witnesses of killer whales eating humpback whale carcasses since then. It is likely that they would attack and kill the calves.”
Initially published in Live Science.
The killer whale “attacked” the humpback whale’s mother and calf. Currently, the calf is missing.
Source link The killer whale “attacked” the humpback whale’s mother and calf. Currently, the calf is missing.