Orca hunting training camp was in action today as the Orca calves had a lesson in hunting tactics and manoeuvres from the elders of the family during a fun filled day. A cosy cloud cover settled in for the day ahead as we moved out towards The Patch and began our search for the Orca. Muffled blows caught out attention and as we approached tail slapping began, the Orca were communicating but there were even more blows racing straight towards them in a big hurry. Pilot Whales were surging at the Orca as they closed in the distance in a matter of minutes with the Orca picking up speed to evade them. The pattern continued as the Orca pulled forward creating bigger reactionary distance before the Pilot Whales would catch up to them again. Eventually the Orca managed to lose the interest of the Pilot Whales as Queen steered her family clear of their pesky and boisterous neighbours. It was now time for the young calves to have an Orca hunting training camp for the rest of the day ahead.
Three Stripes took the little ones under her wing and spent the entire day teaching smothering, pivoting, and immobilising behaviours to the calves. All necessary skills when hunting Beaked Whales and the practice of these tactics is very physical as the Orca throw themselves head first into the action. It was marvellous to watch as the calves enjoyed every minute of this rambunctious training camp building important skills while also having so much fun. Feeling extremely welcomed into the families activities today we certainly did Join The Pod as the calves played only meters away with noisy vocalisations and eyes wide open looking back our way. The training continued on into the early afternoon and when we see this lengthy amount of behaviour it is a great sign that the Orca have been feeding well and have plenty of energy to spare. Wishing them well for the day ahead we returned back to the coastline to see the sleepy Sea Lions and endlessly hungry Crested Tern chicks to complete another magnificent day in Bremer Bay.