A killer whale’s inverted Tail Lob – while on its back, it raises its flukes above the water’s surface and brings them down with force. This type of behavior is often viewed when the whales are in close contact with their pod or grouped together with other pods and seems to be a form of communication. Whether tail slapping is a friendly or an aggressive form of behaviour is not proved beyond a doubt but a majority of the times it seems to be a playful thing especially within the Northern Resident Whales that are in our viewing area. The sound that echoes after a tail slap can be very loud.
The amazing aspect of this breaching was the location and number of breaches. We were on a whale watching safari at Cracroft point with a pod of resident killer whales that were feeding on the salmon feeding on the herring in the fast water of the tide ripe. The humpback was in the same area feeding on the herring when it started to do this lunging and coming down with a load slap. This occurred in an arc on the outside of the killer whales. The arc was over 200 meters (yards) long and the lunging was repeated eleven times in a row. It did not seem to bother the orca so it happened a second time but only eight lunges. The orca kept feeding and the humpback returned to it’s herring and the guest got a great show and pictures.
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