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Saturday, April 8, 2017

4-8-17 Baby Killer Whale T124A-6 and Family

Thursday, April 8th
...on the Western Prince we get word shortly before leaving the dock that killer whales were spotted far, far to the north...but they were coming south...but it was really, really far...we headed that way...the those whales kept coming our way...
...we met up with the whales...first one seen was T123A - of course - with his tall dorsal fin...there were several more all females and offspring...and all coming our way...
...but soon T123A, his mom and sibling split off...
...four others continued coming...


...and what a surprise - new baby, I believe first seen in January 2017...notice the yellowish tinge, an indicator of a young one.  It is believed to be related to their liver function when young...could be similar to jaundice in humans...

This calf is the 6th offspring of T124A.  T124A is the mother and T124 is the grandmother!  In the transient community it is common for females, when they start their family, to travel off on their own and with others.  Sometimes they are seen with their direct family members and other times with other transients, usually who have young ones.  i.e. young mothers and their kids like to spend time together! (The Transient IDing system for the community of Ts (aka Biggs killer whales) that we see always relates back to the matriarch of the family. In this case T124.  T124A, B, C, etc. are offspring. If any of those have offspring, T124A-1, -2, -3, etc. and to add to that T124A-2 had an offspring and her first offspring is T124A-2A...It may sound very confusing but it sure comes in handy when identifying whales of this transient community because they don't travel in any set groups.

The family group of the T124s is really big and every once in a while they are all together which is really neat to see.
But on this day, everyone who got to see T124A-6 ...well just know that was extra special! 

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