This image captures a Killer Whale (also known as Orca) on the downside of a breach. I wish I had caught it when it was straight up in the air, but the breach came as such a surprise, that I was just glad to have any image to show from it.
There are a different theories about why a whale breaches including that this is a way to communicate (either with their pod, other animals, or humans/boats). Another theory is that they are doing it as a way to remove parasites from their skin, and that the impact on the water knocks the parasites loose.
This was the first Killer Whale that I have seen breach, and up until this point on the trip I’m not even sure if we saw anything but the fin of the Killer Whales. So while I wished I could have had more of the full breach captured on camera, I’m just happy we got to see more than just the fin of the whale.
This image was captured during my 2016 Marine Mammals trip, which explores the Johnstone Strait and up to the Northern tip of Vancouver Island. If you would like more information on this trip, visit Natural Art Images.
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Taken: August 13, 2016
Location: Johnstone Strait, British Columbia