Today in the Bremer Canyon a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale was successfully hunted by over 60 Orca. Moments after arriving in the Patch we were greeted by Orca and a special family pod, little Grace the Orca calf was happily travelling alongside her mum Dot.
Slater was curious and playful as he swam straight towards our bow and underneath our feet and it was a very interactive and relaxed start to the morning which was set to change dramatically.
The Orca began to surge as three different family pods began to converge together and were all surging as one towards a cloud of Shearwaters and Albatross. Two well known matriarchs and their families had begun the hunt as Queen and Noosa led the way and amongst the dozens of Orca a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale surfaced and tried to make his way further ahead of the Orca.
The hunt continued and each time the Cuvier’s Beaked Whale surfaced, the Orca families continued to surround him and prevent the Beaked Whale from diving.
Eventually he was able to dive and tried his best to evade the Orca in a very difficult situation, but sadly he was not able to and the Orca prevented him from resurfacing again.
The Orca surfaced right in front of our bow and we could see them lifting the body of the Beaked Whale to the surface only meters away, a sad moment.
The gift of this Beaked Whale for the Orca and hundreds of birds surrounding the scene did not go unnoticed by any of them, for the next two hours the Orca celebrated their successful hunt with surface activity including breaching, tail slapping, tail lobbing and head lunging.
The Shearwaters and Albatross also filled their bellies as the matriarchs of the Orca families divided up the meal and shared with everyone. There were many Orca sighted today we have not seen for a long time including mature male Jandamarra and El Notcho’s “twin” Tricky who displayed some incredible breaches. The final say was had by much loved matriarch Queen who launched herself into full body breaches meters in front of our bow just as we said our goodbyes for the afternoon.
-Whale Watch Western Australia
This post was adapted from a blog, read the original here