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Third orca death in 18 months at theme park

Loro Parque tourist attraction in Tenerife, Spain has announced the death of Kohana, a 20-year-old...

WDC’s Shorewatch work shortlisted for nature award

We are thrilled that our Shorewatch programme has been shortlisted in the Citizen Science category...
Image from one of the WDC Risso's dolphin research catalogues

Local community helps piece together Risso’s dolphin puzzle

Thousands of photographs from members of the public have been published today in two WDC...

Tesco joins new initiative to help protect whales and dolphins

Tesco, the UK's largest retailer has joined WDC, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), and the Royal Society...

Scientists record first case of infanticide in orcas

For the first time, scientists have recorded an incident in which a male orca deliberately drowned an orca calf from another pod, assisted by his own mother. The mother of the calf tried unsuccessfully to defend her offspring. 

While this behaviour has been recorded in other animals and three species of dolphin, it had never been seen before in orcas.

The event in December 2016, which took place in the waters off Vancouver Island in British Columbia, was recorded by a number scientists working in the area at the time, including the WDC-funded Orcalab. The transient orcas involved were known to the researchers and it is thought the attack may have been carried out in an attempt to then provide the male orca with a future opportunity to mate with the calf’s mother when she became fertile again. 

The findings are published at nature.com

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.