April 9th - T124As in the Gulf Islands

April 9th, 2018

There’s a cruise ship docked in Nanaimo for the day, and some of their passengers decided to join us for an afternoon of watching whales before heading back to the ship later tonight. 

By the time we got off the dock at 2:30 pm, we were lucky enough to have report of killer whales only 20 minutes away! We headed south while the whales continued to move north, and we caught up with them just off the Gabriola island shores.

 A transient (Bigg's) orca surfaces in choppy seas. Photo by Val Watson.

A transient (Bigg's) orca surfaces in choppy seas. Photo by Val Watson.

The pod was identified as the T124A family, which includes 8 whales spread across three generations. The matriarch is T124A herself, a 33 year-old mother of five, and a very successful mother in the killer whale world. Sadly the mortality rate for killer whale calves is high, and roughly 50% of calves don’t live past their first year. However, All of T124A’s offspring are still alive and travelling with her today! T124A's oldest daughter "T124A1", is the only member of this pod who does not travel regularly with her mother, and instead sometimes travels with other pods of transient (Bigg's) orca.  

 Part of the T124A family resting near the Gabriola island shores. Photo by Val Watson.

Part of the T124A family resting near the Gabriola island shores. Photo by Val Watson.

 

Thank you to our guests for joining us today and allowing us to share this amazing family of whales with you. Hope to see you again!

Jilann Lechner2 Comments