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Stranded Orca, Orkney. (1 Viewer)

Andy Lakin

Well-known member
How regular are Orca strandings, are they rarer simply due to being far rarer than other species, or is there another explanation.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
How regular are Orca strandings, are they rarer simply due to being far rarer than other species, or is there another explanation.
They're more intelligent, and can even work their own way back into the sea after deliberately landing to grab seals taking refuge on beaches (famous footage by David Attenborough's team in South America).

 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
They're more intelligent, and can even work their own way back into the sea after deliberately landing to grab seals taking refuge on beaches (famous footage by David Attenborough's team in South America).

But its learned behaviour and Orca cultures that don't do it may be more at risk in shallow water. Even those that do can come unstuck as shown in a wildlife documentary shot in conjunction with some French penguin researchers, who helped one get back in the water after stranding in much the same way as the Orkney incident. Shallow-sloping beaches seem to be the issue.

John
 

jurek

Well-known member
Do orcas even regularly occur along the most of European coast? I thought there are few small groups in Scotland and Scandinavia, and very south in Macaronesia, but otherwise only vagrants.

By the way, besides few localized groups which beach during hunting, cetaceans get beached only after getting heavily ill from other causes, and too weak to swim against the action of the waves. So the rescued orca may have little life left. The previous famous beached orca in Western Europe, in the Netherlands in 2010, was deaf (for an animal using sonar, this is an equivalent of blindness) and starved.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
By the way, besides few localized groups which beach during hunting, cetaceans get beached only after getting heavily ill from other causes, and too weak to swim against the action of the waves
I would be interested where you are getting your data from for this.

Healthy individual Orcas do get beached and when rescued, evidence shows not only do they survive when returned to the sea, but they survive additional beachings, sometimes years later. Perhaps it is the case that vagrants are more likely sick but it’s not an issue with the species per se.
There is also evidence to suggest cetaceans also get beached because of disorientation due to sonar
 
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Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
From the Beeb link above; my emphasis:

Animals from a pod known as the 27s were seen hunting seals off Sunday at Christmas, but the orca rescued on Monday is not from any of the pods seen around Orkney and Shetland

I wonder if it stranded as a result of an inter-pod conflict, separated from its own pod in a dispute between two different pods?

How do different Orca pods react to each other normally, if they happen to meet?
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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