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Killer Whale Infanticide
For the first time ever scientists observed a male Orca kill a young baby whale. The other whales in the pod tried to stop him, but he drowned the baby.

I think everyone is a bit shocked by the behavior. Infanticide happens in other species, but it has never been witnessed in Orcas. 
I know they have all kinds of theories and explanations, but the sad truth is that the baby is dead and the mother is grieving and we  have lost a killer whale at a time when there are so few left.
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What a strange and sad thing to happen. As that behaviour isn't usually seen in Orcas, something has to be wrong. I wonder if that male just has a "rogue temperament"?

In other species, sometimes the male kill young so that they can then mate with the female, and produce their own young. Often, the mother will be ready to mate again when her young one is no longer alive.
It is perfectly possible that this sort of infanticide has simply never been seen before. However, one thing puts a little doubt in my mind. Orcas are one of the most highly-studied species in the world. So one would have thought that this would have been seen before, with all the thousands of scientists and visitors constantly observing them. As Tobi says, it could be a rogue temperament.

One thing struck me: maybe it is a coincidence, probably it is a coincidence, but....we have commented on other threads about a spate of cruelty to animal cases, massively beyond what the average should be, this past couple of years on and around Vancouver Island. This incident also took place near Vancouver Island. Is there a possibility that there is something affecting people and animals there (say specific local pollution or some other environmental factor)? Maybe I am putting two and two together and making five, haha!
I have been looking at the map of Vancouver Island. The orcas were up near the north east end of the island. That is the side that faces the mainland.  The abuse cases were further south, but they were all on the side of the island that faces the mainland.
I don't know if it means anything or not. The island is not well populated and there are more people living on the eastern side. I think the whales do spend a lot of time in the waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland.

Is there a lot of pollution in that area? I know there have been oil spills in the area so the waters are contaminated. Remember the Exon Valdez? It was further north, but the pollution spread and still exists today. The clean-up did very little to protect the ocean waters or the land that was contaminated. The workers involved in the clean-up suffered serious health problems as well.

It may not be possible to determine why an orca killed a baby or why there are so many animal abuse cases. It does bear looking at when there seem to be a cluster of incidents.
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