Witness the Hunt with Whale Watch WA

Witness the hunt with Whale Watch WA as the incredible Orca were once again successful in the hunt of a female Gray’s Beaked Whale today. Arriving in The Patch we quickly observed two thick slicks covered in seabirds with the heavy and distinctive smell of Beaked Whale, the Orca had been successful yet again. All crew were in hunt mode themselves now as it was clear the Orca had been busy this morning and were likely to not be very far away. Stormy called Orca as they surfaced just ahead with the distinctive dorsal fin of Wonks showing along with members of the family pod. The energy amongst them was very relaxed and it looked very likely that this family had been successful with the hunt earlier this morning as now they rested. It was only a short rest though as we noticed the family begin to spread out and cover ground as Chalky and Hookfin joined in with forage mode. It was very interesting to observe the Orca launching back into tracking so quickly and we could feel the energy shift, there was prey back in The Patch.

It took a little while for the Orca to pinpoint the exact location of the prey they were tracking as they were spread far and wide once again. It was Queen and her family leading the hunt so we anticipated they would be very good at coordinating everyone into the right locations. A surge of energy erupted as the Orca moved quickly and began to converge as we could see that they had found the Beaked Whale. Surrounding the individual we could see the Orca stalling as they waited for pod members who had been further away to move in towards the hunt. During this time Three Stripes would ensure the female Gray’s Beaked Whale did not dive as she positioned below her carefully. The others were moving at such speed that soon the entire family were on scene and completely covering every possible option of escape for the Beaked Whale which left her in a very difficult position. Queen knew that she had all the family she needed for the next stage of the hunt so made the call as they all surged forward at once.

Thrashing of white water was sent flying as the Orca powerfully moved their flukes to position and better control the Beaked Whale downwards as they began to push towards our bow. The momentum of so many Orca caused the hunt to be completed efficiently as Queen and her family showed their extraordinary hunting skills right in front of us today. Shadow who is a younger pod member seemed to be a little too keen as she moved in but Three Stripes spotted her and blocked, lifting her up onto her back and moving her away. The youngsters have had so many kills they have participated in of late their confidence is sky high and Three Stripes was just reminding Shadow to follow her lead. It is important for the calves to wait on the elders of their family to move in or participate in close contact with their prey. If the Beaked Whale had still been alive Shadow could have been injured and there is also a hierarchy when it comes to the sharing of food as the elder females ensure that everyone receives their fare share and teach the calves these lessons as well.

The family feasted and we were once again in awe of the incredible hunt that had just unfolded before us, during every hunt we learn something new. Kidji and her family were also heavily involved with the tracking and resulting hunt of the Gray’s Beaked Whale today so shared in the rewards of all that hard work. It appeared there had likely been a pod of Beaked Whale moving through the hunting grounds today as they follow squid and fish it often leads them straight into The Patch. Orca will make the most of a good fishing day and today they were extremely successful ensuring plenty of food for not just one but two family pods. It is a great privilege to witness these moments out with the Orca and continue to learn everyday from them as the matriarchs of each Orca pod teach not only their own family members but our Whale Watch WA family as well continually increasing our knowledge of the Language of the Whales.

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