California Transients Hunting a Gray Whale Calf
Hey guys! I’ve been down in Monterey, CA. the past few days and I was lucky enough to witness California Transients hunt and kill a gray whale calf. Here are a handful of the photos I took. We spent all day on the water and witnessed the hunt from beginning (when the whales hadn’t even located the mom and calf) to the very end (when they were feeding). It was heart wrenching and intense, but a once-in-a-lifetime experience I’m thankful to have had!
Now that is a killer whale show.
Meet Charlie Chin (T1)
A captive male transient orca who escaped.
He was captured along with Chimo (T4) the partial albino orca, Pointednose Cow (T2) , Scarjaw cow (T3) and Nootka (T5) in 1970. All the orca had some form of physical deformities (hence their names) except Nootka.
Chimo was sold along with Nootka, Scarjaw Cow Chimos’s probable mother wasn’t eating and sadly died after trying to ram through the net that penned them in.
Charlie Chin kept the other orca Pointednose Cow alive after Scarjaw’s death helping her eat and trying to keep her active as she had just been floating on the surface all this time. Soon both Orca were at full health and eating well. When Charlie Chin was sold.
But before he could be moved sometime during the night someone let the corner of the net down by throwing weights over the floats and both orca escaped.
Charlie Chin was seen multiple times since then, as both orca went back to their transient orca lives. Pointednose went on to have 3 calves and was last seen in 2009. Charlie Chin was last seen in 1997.
NEW ORCA CALF IN PUNTA NORTE
Llen (PTN-010), female born approx. in the year 2000, presumably born to Ishtar showed up April 13 at Punta Norte with a newborn calf. March 24 this year a big group of orca was observed and photographed off the coast of Puerto Piramides in Golfo Nuevo, Peninsula Valdes. Out of the over 50 images we’ve got of this orca that day, none shows her with a calf. This would indicate that this calf was born between March 24 and April 13, 2014. Llen is a strander. This is her first calf.
(foto Jorge Cazenave)
There may be a second addition as well. PNOR posts:
[…] Only Maga and Mica stranded that day. Valen, which is a great hunter, stayed back looking after her calf, only a couple of months old.
Exciting news, hopefully the Southern Residents surprise us with new calves, too! :)