In June, a pod of resident orcas mourned the loss of a dead calf for over 6 hours.
Photo by Otter Works Alaska
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!
You can just expect me to post tons of photos over the next several days from my trip. I would apologize but I’m not sorry.
don’t apologise, i love your photos! x
I still don’t understand why they would think that AI-ing or even breeding Kalia at all is a good idea. If SeaWorld had any sort of decent, respectable breeding program Kalia would be out of the running for several reasons.
First, Kalia is a mess of hybrid population genes. Various ‘Icelandic’ genes (keeping in mind that the Icelandic whales could be from any number of similar or different communities considering they never cared to check) mixed in with Southern Resident. Obviously something that would never happen in the wild, therefore breeding her contradicts anything they care to say about this captive population benefiting wild orca. If they gave a shit at all, they’d at the very least be trying to keep bloodlines pure as they would remain in the wild. That said we all know genetic hybrids can never be released for fear of damaging wild populations, so I guess that’s a selling point for SeaWorld. How responsible.
Second, and probably most importantly, Kalia is related to any whale out of Kasatka or Katina and their respective offspring, that alone should almost put her out of the question as they are two of the most successful breeders SeaWorld have ever had, and their genes already flood the pool. Katina’s genes are relatively small percentage wise, but still there, and this relates Kalia in small part to:
and any offspring they might potentially have.
Even if we totally disregard that and say perhaps wild whales could potentially inbreed to a similar degree due to the closeness of their communities, her more immediate living relatives and animals her wild counterparts would most likely avoid breeding with as to avoid genetic bottlenecking (parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews) still include:
So out of the 29 orca currently owned by SeaWorld (including those at Loro Parque), 13 are fairly closely related to Kalia, which, correct me if I’m wrong as math certainly is not my strong point, comes to 44.8% of the current living population. That’s almost half. Introducing Ulises genes into that bottlenecked mess serves them absolutely no purpose except potentially having one more whale for a while. His genes are valuable to SeaWorld, but breeding him with Kalia will only invalidate them and the offspring will be almost genetically useless. You can’t breed it with any of its relatives, but if you breed it with any of the Tilikum relatives you’ve come full circle and virtually closed the gene pool right down as his genes make up the other half. It would be related to almost every whale in the collection.
We know they’ve been trying to get Shouka pregnant, and while it would still sadden me if they were successful, she is 100% more suitable and appropriate for any sort of respectable breeding program. She’s 21, she’s in her breeding prime in line with that of wild whales, and she’s only genetically related to a handful of captive orca worldwide. Her genes alone with Ulises genes virtually create a new line for SeaWorld. It doesn’t seem to have worked with Shouka yet, so what - just breed whatever’s left hanging around? That is NOT responsible practice. That is desperation. And don’t even get me started on locking animals in small pools together in order to knock them up, because that’s almost as bad as AI, and not not even nearly ‘natural’.
Thirdly, she’s only nine years old, and she would have been 8 when they inseminated her if her due date is in December. I don’t even think I have to go into this. Just because her body is cycling does not mean she is completely ready (I’m talking body AND mind here), and inseminating her takes that choice away from her. It doesn’t matter if she wasn’t psychologically ready for it, she just has to be now, it’s either that or she and/or the calf die.
It sickens me that SeaWorld have the nerve to spout shit about their fantastic breeding program when it is little more than an artificially fucked with, genetic mess of hybrids set to see a future full of inbreeding that, by the time they’re done fucking with it, will have zero benefit to any wild population. A bunch of hybrid inbred messes are no representation of a functioning, wild community of orca and anyone with half a brain should be able to recognise this.
Ten Pictures of T103 a lone Transient Male Orca near Victoria BC Today Easter Sunday :)