The tale of two Humpback whales
By Lloyd Edwards

Monday, 20th January 2020

Our records during the last 23 years showed initially that Humpback whales finish passing Algoa Bay by the second week of January. During the last four years they have been gone by the end of November. Imagine our "delight" in finding two sub adults around Coega and North End up until last week!

As can be seen in the attached photos, the first individual has been involved in a serious scrap with killer whales. Rake marks are evident from just in front of the dorsal fin right down to the tail flukes. This is the normal modus operandi of killer whales. They keep out of sight and concentrate on the rear of the animal. This individual is extremely lucky to have survived. It must be totally stressed out and is finding relative safety around the Port of Coega, Jahleel Island and the shallow waters off North End.

The second Humpback has been in the same area although not swimming together. This individual is the same one that was disentangled by the SAWDN in Algoa Bay on 30-11-2019. The tail flukes match up perfectly. Although there are some old killer whale rake marks on the tail flukes, there are none on the rest of the body. It must have been likewise stressed out by the ordeal.

My guess is that these two will eventually start getting hungry and head off back to the Southern Ocean in search of their food. They surely must have the munchies by now!


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