orca

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>

Study Gives Bleakest of Outlooks for Killer Whales

Study finds extremely high levels of PCBs in some orcas

(Newser) - It's less killer whale and more killed whales, at least according to a new study that found at least half the world's orcas could be taken down by ocean pollution in just a few decades. The culprit: highly toxic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. "Despite a near-global ban... More »

Grieving Mother Orca Finally Lets Go of Dead Calf

Tahlequah is believed to have carried her offspring's body for 17 days over 1,000 miles

(Newser) - The orca mom that carried the limp body of her dead calf for weeks , attracting worldwide attention for what many see as an undeniable expression of grief, has finally moved on. Per the Seattle Times , Tahlequah dropped her offspring's decomposing body after going to great lengths to hold onto... More »

'I Can't Believe' She Is Still Carrying Her Dead Calf

Worried another orca, J50, has days to live, officials may intervene

(Newser) - Scientists have been unable to determine how an endangered orca calf died because—as of Wednesday, 16 days later—its mother still won't let it go. "I am sobbing ... absolutely shocked and heartbroken," researcher Deborah Giles tells the Seattle Times . "I can't believe she is... More »

Orca Mourning Her Calf Gets Some Relief

Orcas are taking turns carrying corpse into 10th day

(Newser) - An orca who spent more than a week carrying her calf following its July 24 death now has some help. Other orcas in the pod swimming through Pacific Northwest waters near the US-Canada border are taking turns carrying the corpse after the effort caused the 20-year-old mother known as J35... More »

A Week Later, Orca Keeps Diving to Retrieve Dead Calf

Update given on J35 as of Monday afternoon

(Newser) - An endangered orca that spends time in Pacific Northwest waters is still carrying the corpse of her calf one week after it died. Experts with the Whale Museum on San Juan Island have been monitoring the 20-year-old whale, known as J35, since her calf died shortly after birth Tuesday. Jenny... More »

A 'Gut-Wrenching' Mother's Grief in the Puget Sound

Orca won't let go of her calf, who died shortly after being born Tuesday off the Washington coast

(Newser) - What's being described as a "gut-wrenching" scene is playing out in Puget Sound, and it's been going on for at least three days. The Seattle Times reports on J35, an orca who gave birth on Tuesday only to witness her calf die 30 minutes later—and she'... More »

'Soul' of the Pacific NW Is Dying of Starvation

Killer whales are succumbing to a variety of factors, including pollution and lack of Chinook salmon

(Newser) - "I believe we have orcas in our soul in this state." Those were the words of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this year after forming the Southern Resident Orca Task Force , an initiative meant to keep endangered killer whales alive in the region. Contributing to their extinction there,... More »

Never-Before-Seen Behavior in Orcas Surprises Scientists

Researchers see the first known case of infanticide among killer whales

(Newser) - Scientists have observed a behavior never before seen in killer whales, and it makes for a grim discovery. Following strange calls from orcas off the northeastern coast of British Columbia's Vancouver Island in December, researchers observed the first known case of infanticide among the whales. After tracking down the... More »

Orca Learns to Mimic 'Hello,' Other Words

Nice job, Wikie

(Newser) - Orcas don't just wave and whistle. They also have the ability to mimic words like "hello" and "bye bye," as one killer whale has just proven. After discovering orca pods with unique "accents" in their communications—which naturally come in the form of whistles, calls,... More »

Killer Whales Are Conceiving, but the Pregnancies Are Failing

Study says orcas on West Coast are struggling due to salmon supply

(Newser) - Endangered killer whales that frequent the inland waters of Washington state are having pregnancy problems because they cannot find enough fish to eat, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed hormones in excrement collected at sea and found that more than two-thirds of orca pregnancies failed over a seven-year period.... More »

Wily Orcas Are Tormenting Alaska Fishermen

Whales are stealing thousands of pounds of their fish from boats

(Newser) - They're like pirates of sorts, but very, very large ones. Alaskan fishermen say they’re increasingly missing out on scores of fish they rely on to make a living because killer whales are making off with their catch. A few years ago, orca sightings in the Bering Sea were... More »

Washing Ashore in South Africa: Great Whites With No Livers

Researchers think orcas are killing them

(Newser) - Over four days in early May, three dead great white sharks washed ashore in South Africa—with their livers missing. Researchers with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust did necropsies and came to the conclusion that, based on the sharks' injuries, orcas likely killed them and ate their livers, the researchers... More »

'Unprecedented' Orca Hunting Frenzy Caught on Film

In just seven days, the orcas have killed four whales in Monterey, California

(Newser) - A pod of killer whales off the coast of Monterey, California, has intrigued biologists by going on a frenzied hunting spree that’s killed four gray whales in just seven days. Nancy Black, a local marine biologist and co-owner of Monterey Bay Whale Watch, caught the latest attack on camera... More »

Last Orca Born at SeaWorld Park

Mother was pregnant before breeding ban

(Newser) - Officials at SeaWorld say the last killer whale has been born in captivity at one of its parks—in San Antonio. The orca's birth Wednesday afternoon comes in the wake of a 2016 decision by the Florida-based company to stop breeding killer whales. SeaWorld didn't immediately name the... More »

SeaWorld San Diego Ending Shamu Shows Today

But 'Orca Encounter' shows don't sound all that different

(Newser) - SeaWorld San Diego is ending its long-running killer whale show after years of outcry and falling attendance prompted it to renounce theatrical orca displays and its breeding program, the AP reports. The show that featured killer whales cavorting with trainers and leaping high out of the Shamu Stadium pool will... More »

Blackfish's Tilikum Dies at SeaWorld

36-year-old orca was battling a lung infection

(Newser) - The orca who inspired the documentary Blackfish died Friday at SeaWorld, his home for more than 20 years, reports USA Today . A planned necropsy will give an official cause of death, though Tilikum had been suffering from a bacterial lung infection for some time. SeaWorld says that at an estimated... More »

Scientists Might've Accidentally Killed an Endangered Orca

Tracking dart possibly led to fungal infection

(Newser) - Scientists hoping to protect endangered orcas might have inadvertently killed one instead. A killer whale tagged by NOAA researchers in Washington state in February turned up dead in British Columbia five weeks later, reports the CBC . On Wednesday, US researchers released a report suggesting the 20-year-old whale, known as L95,... More »

Clever Seal Goes to Desperate Lengths to Dodge Killer Whales

'Most intense epic experience ever': boat owner

(Newser) - Seals are cute, curious, and apparently quite resourceful when they're trying to avoid becoming someone's dinner, per a story out of British Columbia. The CBC reports on the adventures of a survival-minded seal who, desperately trying to escape the clutches of the ravenous orcas pursuing it, hopped aboard... More »

Whale as Old as the Titanic Spotted in the Pacific

'Granny' spotted leaping near the coast of Washington

(Newser) - Whale watchers off the coast of Washington saw a welcome sight last week—a killer whale nicknamed "Granny" who is believed to be an astonishing 105 years old, reports the San Francisco Chronicle . Granny's more formal name among scientists who have studied her for decades is J2, and... More »

SeaWorld Ending Orca Shows, Breeding

Whales now in captivity will be 'the last generation'

(Newser) - Months after the California Coastal Commission imposed a breeding ban on its San Diego park, SeaWorld says it will end its orca breeding program for good. Breeding will end at all three US parks this year, meaning the killer whales now in captivity will be "the last generation,"... More »

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>

AROUND THE WEB