Whale watching Dunsborough this week had a concerning surprise as reported earlier when our partner company Jet Adventures came across a Humpback Whale opening his mouth wide and appearing to have a lodgement or irritation in his oesophagus as these rare pictures indicate. He surfaced close to the vessel and opened his mouth and then spun around and inverted to shake his tail to appear to be dislodging something in the mouth area. There are many incidents where plastic bags, fishing line and other debris in the water can cause harm to our much loved Humpbacks. Whale Watching Dunsborough is one of the favoured area’s of our Humpbacks to stop and rest in Geographe Bay prior to their final swim south to Antartica for their summer feeding season.
There was no obvious signs of what might have been causing a possible irritation and the curious Humpback approached to investigate the vessel further while not appearing to be in distress. A very unique behaviour that has not been sighted regularly along the Western Australian coastline. Similar interactions around the world with Humpback Whales being recorded opening their mouths in similar fashion (not in feeding grounds) appear to be used to display size and strength. The Language of the Whales™ must be interpreted at the time it is being sighted and this unusual interaction was fascinating to observe while guests were whale watching Dunsborough. We will keep a close eye open for this whale in future seasons and along our coastline while also carefully observing for any future sightings of this type of behaviour and the environment surrounding the whale before and after the interaction to see if this can further explain the reasons behind this amazing sighting.
photo credit: Jet Adentures