ORCA WHALES NEAR DANGER POINT

May 14, 2011 by dyertrust

At 11:00AM 9 April 2011, the Whale Whisperer of Dyer Island Cruises (www.whalewatchsa.com) witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime sighting found by professional wildlife spotter and Dyer Island Cruises guide, Kira Matiwane. Two Orcas, one male (with the larger dorsal fin) and a sub-adult were milling about the kelp near Danger Point.

Dyer Island Conservation Trust marine biologist, and self-professed Orca fanatic,Michelle Wciselwas lucky to be on-board, It was an incredible experience! Kira and I were so excited we couldn't stop shouting every time they surfaced. It was incredible to be with the true apex predator of the ocean!

She also states, It is very rare to find two Orca whales on their own, especially so close to shore. It was also this time of the year in 2010 and 2009 that Orcas were sighted in Walker Bay and False Bay.

Orcas are also commonly referred to as killer whales. They are the only natural predator of the great white shark, and commonly predate on fish, seals, and other species of dolphin. Orcas are transient, meaning they occur in all the oceans of the world, and travel long distances in large pods or groups. Although referred to as whales, Orcas are actually classified as dolphins since they have teeth instead of baleens and use echo-location.

The Orcas at Danger Point seemed to be foraging on sardines in the bay. There were many bait-balls of fish which were accompanied by Cape Gannets, Bryde's whales, and cormorants. One Orca would spy hop (lift its head completely out of the water) and then the two would head toward a nearby group of gannets. Once there, one would spy hop again, and then move towards the next group of gannets. Once the two began to move offshore, the Whale Whisperer departed the pair.

Thanks to the employees of the I & J Abalone farm near Danger Point who called later in the day to alert us of the sighting. We greatly appreciate all the help we receive from the public on unusual sightings and strandings in the bay.