Disabled killer whale in Algoa Bay

Part of a pod of 7 battle scarred orca’s spotted in the bay. From the surface this juvenile orca fit in quite well with the rest of his pod. Two others had deformed flopped dorsal fins and the two female leaders had extreme battle scars.

As the boat caught up with the pod, Rainer (the photographer of the above photo) noticed the orca with no dorsal was lagging behind the hunt as the other orca were herding a Brydes Whale. Slipping into the water he discovered that the orca was missing the right pectoral and the dorsal but had no scars or any indication as to how they were missing. It is therefore assumed that the juvenile was born with these deformities. 

The orca was very brave and didn’t appear scared of the boat only very curious of it and the diver too. The orca soon left to join the rest of the pod whom had appeared successful in their hunting mission. If these deformities were from birth this orca would have been reliant on his pod everyday of his life, However these orca have only been recently continually sighted in Agola Bay since 2008 so not much research has been done on pollutants or possible causes for this orcas deformities.

This orca is referred to as male, and also stumpy making him the third orca to receive the name. 

Killer whales supporting the disabled by Cormac McCreesh
Photography by Rainer Schimpf
The Herald - May 5th 2008
African Diver