Whale watchers on an Eagle Wing Whale Watching tour last week were lucky to catch a glimpse of a “baby breach.”
Little T46B6, a transient orca baby from the T46 family, was playing in the Salish Sea on June 24 when the tour company snapped a picture of the little whale breaching.
“On this tour we were able to determine the gender of this baby for the first time – it’s a girl!” said Eagle Wing Whale Watching Tours in a post to Facebook. “The black and white pattern on the bellies of males and females is slightly different, plus the females have mammary slits, from which they will one day nurse their own babies.”
The transient orca populations travel in small groups and move up and down the Pacific coast, often stopping to socialize and hunt for marine mammals near Vancouver Island. Because they hunt mammals, transient orcas are typically less playful in order to avoid alerting their prey to their presence.
Eagle Wing Tours has not yet responded for comment.