It appears that on Wednesday 27th March 2013 a killer whale live-stranded at the
Fort Grandby Beach in Tobago. The North East Sea Turtles (NEST) Tobago site has
published photographs along with a short report: wildlife biologist Angela Ramsey
(Tobago House of Assembly - D.N.R.E) participated during the rescue with in-water assistance from nearby fishermen. The orca, identified as a juvenile, was refloated twice. After the second attempt the individual was followed out to sea until it could not be observed anymore. Cause of stranding was unclear. For more information visit the NEST Tobago Facebook page, and we will keep you posted with any further confirmation and updates regarding this report:
"Successful Rescue of KillerWhale (Orcinus orca). Report by Angela Ramsey, wildlife biologist at DNRE.
On Wednesday 27th March 2013, I received a report of a stranded whale at the Fort
Grandby Beach, Tobago at approx. 2:00pm. Upon arrival I observed the whale very
close in shore and weak. After getting in the water and conducting close
examination there were no obvious signs of fresh physical injuries. I requested
assistance from nearby Fishermen who did not hesitate to assist in getting the
whale into deeper water where it began to swim on its own. After swimming for
few minutes it became disoriented and came ashore again. Another attempt was
made to get the whale back into deeper water then we boarded one of the
Fisherman's boat and followed the whale out until it could not been observed
After examining the physical characteristics taken such as the
specifications of the dorsal fin, white chest, white patch behind each eye,
white undersides, white patch on sides, grey saddle patch, distinct notch in
fluke, and the length 2.3m, the whale was identified as a juvenile Killer Whale.
The cause for stranding is unsure but from observations it can be
disorientation. Please see attachment for photos.
Participants in water - Angela Ramsey - Wildlife Biologist, THA, Wayne Dann - Fisherman & Owner of boat, Keshon Dann - Fisherman (son of Wayne), Kevin Smart - Fisherman (nephew of Wayne).
Participants on land - Terrance Holmes - Fisheries Officer, THA and his support staff. We hope for the best!S"
For more information and photos, visit North East Sea Turtles (NEST) Tobago
In 2009, two out of three killer whales died after spending three weeks in Alaska's freshwater Nushagak River, apparently succumbing to stresses of being out of a saltwater environment. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Fisheries biologists explain:
Journalist Candace Calloway Whiting has put together a blog which looks at captive killer whale attacks on their human trainers over the last few decades, with a video news excerpt from "Death at SeaWorld" author David Kirby. What are your thoughts?
Want to know why so many orcaholics are passionate about the issue of dolphin captivity? Book your tickets for the Sundance London Film Festival screenings of "Blackfish" - a documentary about a killer whale known as Tilikum.
Check out Orca Aware volunteer Claire Stares' latest Guardian Country Diary!
Visit the Orca Aware Facebook Page to view a video of the orcas Claire saw in Iceland!
"The AT1s may well be in their final throes before extinction" - read about marine biologist Eva Saulitis' fight for these Alaskan transient orcas: