Killer Whale Play School

Killer Whale play school it was today with nonstop play, socialisation and spectacular surface action amongst four different family pods. Arriving in The Patch blows were observed straight away as members of Queen and Cookie’s families were actively foraging and shortly after arriving they began to surge with energy. It was an exhilarating ride as we had Orca either side of us and porpoising to reach the destination just ahead. Converging all around us they began to dive with much focus and it was clear all were working to locate the prey they had just been chasing. Wonks surfaced with a nice chunk of squid in his mouth as they began to share amongst the pod members. It was a relatively small amount of food for the exciting chase that had brought them all together and we wondered if perhaps initially they had been targeting a Beaked Whale that managed to move out to deeper water. During those dives looking for the elusive Beaked Whale perhaps Wonks came across an unfortunate squid which became breakfast for everyone. Either way the chase had ended in a small success for the Orca which was worthy of a celebration as they began to breach excitedly.

It was now time to get moving as the Orca continued celebrations with breaching, inverted tail slapping and pec slapping before the celebration became communication as they ensured all pod members were together for the long swim ahead. The youngsters were left to play as the adults moved out and we soon had a creche of little ones including Poppy, Opal and Stormy having an absolute blast wrestling, breaching and chasing one another endlessly. It is always remarkable to watch the calves at play and their ability to go for hours reflecting their great health and happiness in life. Covering ground efficiently and having fun as they went the families were able to move steadily in search of that next meal and towards other foraging grounds they like to spend time in. Poppy was so excited to have some playmates today as she has spent much time staying alongside her mum who has been completing plenty foraging which can sometimes be a little tiring for young calves. Rosemary was more than relaxed with leaving Poppy to play as she herself socialised with others while dropping in every so often to check in on Poppy. It is incredible to witness the caring, nurturing side of our oceans apex predators and the importance of Killer Whale play school.


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