Sunday, December 6, 2015

Expecting No Fort Worth Orca Baby Boom Anytime Soon

I saw that which you see here this morning in the Seattle Times online.

This particular instance of something I see in a west coast online news source, which I would not expect to see in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, does not quite fit the usual theme where I see something happening on the west coast, or elsewhere, that is of the sort of thing that could be happening in Fort Worth if the town were a bit more, well, lively and progressive.

But, there is absolutely nothing Fort Worth could possibly do to see the town hosting an Orca pod with baby Orcas.

Just like a west coast town, like Seattle, is not likely to have an alligator show up at popular inner tubing venues, while, in Fort Worth, such does happen.

I think I have mentioned before an encounter with an Orca pod.

Way back in the last century.

Way back then it was more common to call these gentle animals Killer Whales than Orcas.

My mom and dad and I were out in the San Juan Islands, if I remember right, fishing off Orcas Island, appropriately, either gigging for cod or trolling for salmon. I don't remember which. I do remember it was a beautiful day, clear blue sky, late in the afternoon, Mount Baker hovering to the east, Mount Rainier visible way to the south.

Suddenly we started seeing large black forms gliding through the water, some sort of arching out of the water. As the black forms got closer we realized it was a pod of Killer Whales. My mom got a big nervous, dad killed the engine. We sat there as the big 'fish' got closer and closer. Suddenly we were surrounded as the pod passed on both sides of the boat.

At one point one of the Orcas sort of seemed to stop to look us over, almost looking like he was smiling at us, sort of like how a dolphin does. Amongst the pod was a baby Orca.

This incident pre-dated the era of never being without an image recording device. This incident remains the number one thing I have experienced of which I regret I was not able to photograph. Let alone take video.

I wonder what is up with the Puget Sound Orca pods having so many babies? Is the warmer water causing the whales to be more frisky? Or are the Orca pods just doing well due to the water being cleaner and the humans being nice to them, no longer terrorizing them with threat of capture and exile to Sea World?

It has been decades since the threat of capture and exile to Sea World was ended. I suspect the Orca pods now have a sense that they have become Wildlife Superstars of the Great Pacific Northwest. And thus happily adding to the size of their families, I mean, pods.

Orcas are extremely intelligent mammals. Probably smarter than some humans I know. I know for 100% certainty there are no Orca racists, or Orca racist collaborators. I wish I could say the same about the humans with whom I come in contact.....

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