A Bigg Killer Whale was seen today and this gorgeous male Killer Whale has a very important story behind his name. Dr. Michael Bigg was a marine biologist who changed the way the world recognised and documented Orca by using photo id. The theory was that every Orca had a dorsal fin unique to them that could be used to identify that individual. To prove that theory a male Orca was was captured and named K1 (Taku) and before his release two small notches were carved into his dorsal fin. Taku healed and always retained those unique scallops in his dorsal fin and was the easiest Orca to identify in the population during his life. It was not only Dr Biggs but also Taku who proved to researchers worldwide that Orca can be identified this way along with combining images of their eye patches and saddle patches.
Fast forward to 2023 and this research completed back in 1973 inspired the name for a very large male Orca that lives in the Bremer Bay population. Meeting this male Orca a few years back along with John Totterdell we were amazed to see just how similar the scallop pattern was on the dorsal fin. Looking at the image comparisons below you can see the incredible resemblance of both male Orca from two different populations many years apart. It was a perfect name for this Bremer Bay male to be named Biggs in honour of Dr. Michael Bigg whose dedication and research efforts ensured that people grew to love Orca instead of fear them as was the case prior to the 1970’s. Today we spent some time with Biggs and his family pod with all pod members doing well in finding some regular squid today with a few oily slicks around. A lovely family who are curious and intelligent displaying the wonderful qualities of these apex predators.