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Montevideo, June 3rd 2023 - 07:11 UTC



Orcas sighted off the coast of Argentine province of Rio Negro

Monday, July 26th 2021 - 18:05 UTC
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Orcas are ”an extremely intelligent species” (Pic Marcelo Ochoa/TELAM) Orcas are ”an extremely intelligent species” (Pic Marcelo Ochoa/TELAM)

A calf of killer whales only a few days old has been sighted for the first time off the Punta Bermeja area, on the Rio Negro coast, leading specialists to speculate that its parents would not be far away.

The orcas are believed to have traveled from Peninsula Valdez to Costa Bermeja where there is a reserve of a type of sea lions that makes up their diet.

“We cannot assure that the calf was born on the Rio Negro coast, but the first images were taken last July 9 in the Punta Bermeja area,” María Leoni Gaffet, a member of the Peninsula Valdez Orcas Reserch organization said.

She added that the groups of orcas travel from the Valdez Peninsula to the Bermeja Coast where there is a reserve of single-haired sea lions, one of the species that makes up the dietary diet of the killer whales.

The organization takes photographic shots to which they add that of amateur photographers, since they intend to “connect the dots and see where and when” these cetaceans are.

Gaffet admitted the calf had been seen for the first time and has been identified off the coast of Río Negro. ”They came out to breathe and it was possible to observe the fetal folds of the calf that form when it is in the mother's uterus,“ she said.

And she added: ”Let's hope it survives, although the mortality in the offspring in general is relatively low. We hope then to baptize it with a name.“

The proceeding usually is ”that the boys at the schools choose a name, which can be by means of a previous list, because when they are small, the females do not differ from the males“, she indicated.

The environmentalist organization hopes to renew photographs on an annual basis, ”because killer whales are changing and what is used in the identification process are marks that are generated over time.“

Gaffet explained that orcas reproduce every three or seven years and develop their entire lives from family groups and that is why ”it is very important not to separate them, that calf will spend its entire life with its mother,“ she pointed out. The lifespan of killer whales is estimated to be of 80 years for females and 55 years for males.

”It is an extremely intelligent species that adapts to different regions of the world to capture their prey,“ Gaffet pointed out. ”There is no record of attacks carried out in the wild against people, but there are records of deaths of people in aquariums,” she added.


Categories: Environment, Argentina.

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