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Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have slaughtered at least two fin whales, the first...

Majority of Icelandic people think whaling harms their country’s reputation

With the very real prospect of Iceland's only fin whale hunter, Kristján Loftsson sending boats...
Humpback whale underwater

Humpback whale rescued from shark net in Australia

A humpback whale and her calf have managed to escape after becoming entangled in a...
Long-finned pilot whale

Fishermen in Norway eat pilot whale after entanglement in net

According to local reports, fishermen in Norway ate meat from a long-finned pilot whale after...

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.