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Killer whales News

Over half of the world's killer whale population is under threat

The future of more than half of the world's killer whale population is under threat, in part, because of man-made chemicals produced throughout the mid-1900s leaching into the ocean, according to a new study.

Killer whale breath bacteria highlight endangered species

Scientists have discovered that droplets in exhaled breath caught from the blowholes of killer whales provide insights into the health of the whales. Additionally, certain bacteria and fungi are a particular threat to killer whales.

Orcas found killing and eating beaked whales and sevengill sharks

Killer whales do not tend to trouble humans much but they are ferocious hunter-killers of marine life. Even so, the discovery that orcas kill beaked whales and sevengill sharks has surprised marine biologists.

Kinder-Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline faces new court challenge

Conservation groups filed a new court challenge to the government's approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Monday evening, becoming at least the eighth legal test of the controversial pipeline project.

Rare orca sighting in Hawaii caught on video by fisherman

The power of dreams may be a lesson learned in the story of a fisherman in Hawaii who caught two orcas on video while out with his daughters last week. He wasn't expecting to see such a majestic sight but he got one — and a great video to commemorate i

White killer whales are becoming more common

Six years ago the first recorded white killer whale was spotted. Since then mono-color orcas have become increasingly common. Scientists are trying to figure out why.

Humpbacks attack orca whales to save seals, other mammals: study

A new study has found that the humpback whale will come to the defense of other marine mammals that are being attacked by orcas whales. The study examined the motivation for the seemingly altruistic behavior.

Killer whale found dead in B.C. waters likely from local pod

There has been a baby boom among the killer whale population in B.C. and Washington state waters but there is bad news to report. A dead killer whale was found floating off the coast of Vancouver Island near Sooke, B.C. on Thursday.

Another calf born to southern resident whale pod

There has been concern for the orca whale population in B.C. and Washington State waters, but it may be unwarranted. The populations have dwindled in recent years in the three pods that make the area their home but their numbers are now going back up.

Injured orca whale in B.C. waters cut by boater's propeller

A young killer whale, also known as an orca, has been spotted in Johnstone Straight off the coast of Vancouver Island with a fresh cut this week. The whale's flank and dorsal fin was cut but though a long wound it may not be serious.

Vancouver Aquarium to long weekend boaters: Avoid killer whales

The Vancouver Aquarium issued a warning to long-weekend boaters to steer clear of the orca killer whales spotted in waters near Nanaimo. Porpoises and dolphins were also seen in coastal waters near communities.

Video as Orca whales attack sea lion near Vancouver

Video shot by a kayaker and uploaded onto to YouTube yesterday shows a pod of Orca killer whales attacking and slaying a sea lion. The sea lion wound up being a meal for the orcas.

Calf is born to endangered orca killer whale pod off B.C. coast

The Center for Whale Research in Washington state said that a new orca calf has been born to the endangered J-pod. The calf, J-50, may have been born in the past few days, though the exact details are not known. They are not certain who the mother is.

Photo Essay: Wonders of nature at the Vancouver Aquarium Special

Vancouver - About 50,000 aquatic creatures make their home at the Vancouver Aquarium. With a focus on communication and research, the dazzling exhibits entertain and educate visitors promoting conservation of wildlife in marine and freshwater environments.

Vancouver Aquarium uses drone to track killer whales in the wild

Vancouver - Researchers from the Vancouver Aquarium, in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used a drone to observe killer whales (Orcas). It is the first time an unmanned aerial vehicle tracked wild marine mammals.

Op-Ed: Killer whales dominate Superpod Three on San Juan Island Special

Friday Harbor - Superpod Three concluded last Friday following a fabulous whirlwind five-day orca-fest, hosted by the cast of the documentary, ‘Blackfish’. The real stars of the show however, were undoubtedly, the killer whales themselves.

Blackfish stars and orca experts to descend on San Juan Island

Friday Harbor - Orca enthusiasts from around the globe will unite next week for a week-long orca fest on San Juan Island in Washington State. Now in its third year, the gathering, aptly named "Superpod," will be the best attended event yet.

New Whale Week festival spotlights Scotland’s rich marine habitat

Tobermory - Believed to be the first event of its kind in Scotland, the inaugural Whale Week festival, highlighting the importance of Scotland’s west coast, peppered with islands and inlets, as a habitat for cetaceans, kicks off on Sunday, June 8.

Op-Ed: Sources hinting new orca calf born at Marineland France is inbred

Antibes - Marineland France celebrated the birth of a new orca on Nov. 20, or did they? While a 12-year-old female orca named Wikie definitely delivered a calf, there has been no big announcement of the birth.

Killer whales identified as ‘two different species’

A new study of the DNA of killer whales has confirmed that there are at least two different species of orca swimming in the world’s oceans.

Killer whales live in complex communities

Killer whales do not breed freely with one another, a new report suggests. Rather the ocean’s top predators live in subgroups made up of individual communities. This is a level of sophistication similar to dolphins.

Op-Ed: Orcas return to San Juan; oldest member shatters captivity myth

Friday Harbor - The Center for Whale Research announced yesterday that all of the Southern Resident J pod whales had returned safe and sound to the San Juan Island region of Washington. The oldest member of the pod is J2, affectionately named Granny.

Inuit people, Mother Nature provide freedom for trapped whales Special

Quebec - Residents of the small Canadian town of Inukjuak, Quebec are responding to the plight of eleven killer whales trapped under the ice in Hudson Bay.

Op-Ed: Haunting PSA pleads the case for action over killer whale Lolita

A newly released Public Service Announcement calling for the retirement of orca Lolita, is asking the public to back the killer whale's cause and transition her to an ocean sanctuary in the Pacific Northwest.

Video: Watch panic-stricken dolphins chased by killer whales

The video shows hundreds of white-sided dolphins in a panic-stricken dash with killer whales chasing after them. The viewer can sense the panic of the dolphins as their fins churn the blue bay waters white in their frantic dash for safety.

Navy bombs in sanctuary, population of gentle orcas endangered Special

Less than 90 individuals remain in this population of gentle fish-eating orcas. Low salmon supply and toxins are suspected as contributing causes, but the recent death of a young orca has raised questions of the safety of naval practice in a sanctuary.

Humpback whales intervene in orca attack on gray whale calf Special

Monterey - In what is probably the first time such an event has been witnessed and recorded, humpback whales appeared to try to intervene when a pod of killer whales attacked a baby gray whale.

Op-Ed: Five Killer Whales Versus 2.3 Million Humans

Many people label relationships and situations they dislike as "slavery." Communists call salaried workers "wage slaves"

SeaWorld trainers prepare to swim with killer whales again

Orlando - SeaWorld officials say they are preparing trainers to re-enter the tanks with the park's killer whales for the first time in a year following the death of veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by the orca Tilikum in full view of an audience.

Canadian oil spill threatens killer whales

As cleanup crews frantically tried to contain a massive oil spill off Vancouver Island, environmentalists were concerned that several killer whale pods may be at risk, reports said Wednesday.
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Killer whales Image

With permission by The Center for Whale Research
Tucker trying to pick up the scent of whale scat.
Tucker trying to pick up the scent of whale scat.
Screen Capture
Killer whales (Orcinus orca)  commonly called orcas  belong to the oceanic dolphin family.
Killer whales (Orcinus orca), commonly called orcas, belong to the oceanic dolphin family.
Kat Kellner (CC BY 2.0)
National Oceanic and Atmosphiric Agency

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