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Tilikum, the father of Nakai. © Paul Wigmore

Orca Nakai dies at SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego has announced the death of the orca Nakai. The 20-year-old male orca...
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin © Mike Bossley/WDC

Last captive Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin to be freed in South Korea

Bibongi, the last Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin held in captivity in South Korea, is to be...
Common bottlenose dolphin

100 bottlenose dolphins hunted in Faroe Islands

This morning, (July 29th), 100 bottlenose dolphins were killed in Skálafjörður on the Faroe Islands. The...

Whales left to die in agony as grenade harpoons fail to explode

Evidence has emerged of grenade-tipped harpoons failing to explode when fired into fin whales by...

Elusive whale seen alive for the first time

A photo of an unidentified beaked whale species.

Using DNA evidence, scientists have been able to officially confirm the first live sightings of the Sato’s beaked whale.

Up to now the only Sato’s whales seen have been the few that have washed up dead and some unconfirmed reports from whale hunters. As a result, we know very little about their lives, habits, where they hang out, or their population size.

But, during the summer of 2021, researchers studying orcas in the waters between Hokkaido, Japan, and Russia’s Kuril Islands spotted 14 Sato’s whales swimming there.

At just under seven meters long, the Sato’s beaked whale  has distinctive white scars that could also tell us about their preferred habitat. According to WDC’s research fellow, Erich Hoyt, who co-authored the paper announcing the 2021 sightings these round bite marks are from cookie-cutter sharks. ‘To-date, Sato’s beaked whales have only been found around Japan and eastern Russia’, he says. ‘But cookie-cutter sharks typically frequent warmer waters, so the scars suggest the whales might be venturing to—and getting bitten in—tropical locations’.

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Tilikum, the father of Nakai. © Paul Wigmore

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