A calf named Charlie is the newest member of the Bremer Bay Orca population and today we had the opportunity of spending time with this little cutie. First sighted back on the 13th of February and a few other times in-between, it was wonderful to be observing this precious member of the family happily swimming alongside mum. Shortly after arriving in The Patch we joined with the Shearwaters and Orca as they continued with focus to the east in search of breakfast. The family was hungry and didn’t seem to bothered by curious male Irwin who had taken some interest in the family and was following behind them curiously. Moving out into deeper water and scanning carefully as they went we were hopeful that a fresh serving of calamari on this lovely Saturday morning would be the perfect reward for the effort of foraging being put in by the entire family. A flash of black and orange surfaced right alongside mother Orca as little Charlie was determined to keep up with all of the families activities today. Charlie’s mum will be over twenty years old, it takes a very long time before female Orca begin to have calves and are prepared both physically and mentally for the challenges ahead of them both in the coming months.
Charlie is still only very young and approximately 2 months old, just at the beginning of the apex predators journey. The coming months will be the most vulnerable for Charlie as winter approaches and the colder, more challenging storms roll through. The family will need to ensure that mother Orca is getting plenty of food so she can produce nutrient rich milk for Charlie to consume daily and grow quickly. Charlie will be completely dependant on the family pod for the duration of his/her life and is already starting to build relationships with each of the family pod members. Culture, language, social structure, diet and social habits will be taught by the adults and learnt by Charlie in the years ahead. At this stage we cannot confirm if Charlie is a male or female just yet but eventually by the time Charlie is twenty we will be looking at a trained apex predator, an important member of the family pod and another wonderful friend of our Pod Members.