A video of a mysterious carcass washed up on a New Zealand beach has gone viral. Experts have suggested that the carcass is that of a killer whale but this has failed to quash “sea monster” speculation.
Scientists researching whale strandings have hit on a new theory that social disruption prior to strandings might be the cause, rather than following sick family members to a shallow beach.
A whale specialist with both the University of Auckland and the University of Oregon in the United States, Scott Baker, says genetic testing has found 120 pilot whales which stranded on Stewart Island were not all closely related. Read more »
Locals are calling for an ice-breaker to help free the mammals. Photo: AP/Marina Lacasse
Twelve whales are caught in a death trap outside of a northern Quebec fishing village.
Since Monday, the killer whales have been stranded under thick layers of sea ice near the town of Inukjuak, on the northeastern coast of the Hudson Bay. They take turns breathing through a small breach in the ice, but one expert says that if immediate action isn’t taken to free them, the whales could suffocate or die from exhaustion.
“These are large animals competing for breathing space in a hole not much larger than your desk,” said Lyne Morisette, a marine ecologist and researcher at the Université de Québec à Rimouski. “We don’t have two weeks to manoeuvre here.”
About 25 km of ice separates the pod from open water, meaning it would take an ice breaking ship to open a path for them.
An Inuit hunter stumbled upon the whales earlier this week while tracking seals. killer whales are a rare sight in the Hudson Bay during winter, and the animals have drawn dozens of curious locals from Inukjuak — a one-hour snowmobile ride from the ice breach.
The Inuit seem perplexed as to what to do about the Orca. Read more »
You know how it works, any article about Orca will get commented on. They are the coolest whales:
Expatriate Kiwi Craig Harman’s festive holidays got a special boost when he had this close encounter with a group of orcas in the Waitemata Harbour.
The London-based television cameraman was in Auckland visiting his parents when the orcas, including two youngsters, surrounded the family boat near Motuihe Island about 4.30pm on Thursday.
“We were on a fishing trip and suddenly eight or nine whales in two groups appeared from nowhere and came over to the boat for a look at us,” Harman, 34, said. “It was incredible seeing something so majestic swimming in a city harbour.
“In London, the most exotic thing I have seen was a seal in the River Thames so this was an unforgettable experience.”
New Zealand orca expert Ingrid Visser is hoping shocking evidence of a captive orca’s injuries will persuade a Dutch court to set it free.
Dr Visser is due to give evidence in an Amsterdam court today in a last-ditch attempt to force Dutch authorities to reconsider last year’s decision to allow a young orca to be exported to a theme park in Spain’s Canary Islands.
The female orca, known as Morgan, was rescued off the Dutch coast in 2010 and taken to a marine park near Amsterdam where it was nursed back to health.
The park claimed Morgan was unsuitable for a return to the wild, and transferred it to Loro Parque in Tenerife after getting a green light from the Amsterdam District Court in November 2011.
Dr Visser said she had observed Morgan at Loro Parque for 77 hours over eight days, and saw 91 acts of aggression against Morgan by other orca in the tank. She had documented 320 bite and puncture marks on the orca’s body, not including injuries inflicted by Morgan’s own abnormal behaviour such as banging her head against the side of the tank. The orca was also wearing its teeth down by chewing on the concrete, which was likely to lead to infection.