#ThrowbackThursday to this False Killer Whale smile we caught with our GoPro. One of our favorite videos of all time. :) PS: You'll definitely want to turn on the sound for this!! Here's a few things we want to mention about our emphasis on research, education, and #conservation:
For those of you who have watched the video several times (guilty...we have), you've most likely noticed the scars on the false killer whales – and the spinning prop. Anyone who has spent time with #marinemammals will tell you the cause of those scars was another animal. We aren't able to say exactly what kind of animal is the cause of these scars, but oftentimes it is another pod member.
Propeller hits are much more damaging, and sadly, there is no easy fix there (“Boating Industry Speaks Out on the Futility of Prop Guards”) – besides being extremely cautious and aware of the movement of nearby #wildlife. The wildlife in the video is never in threat of being ran over.
Wild Side is owned and operated by wildlife biologists, who are all too aware of the well-documented impact vessel-noise has on #dolphins and #whales. Therefore, on our boats, the exhaust goes above water to create minimal noise underwater, having the least amount of disturbance possible on the cetaceans. Watch the video again and notice that even though our boat is running (you may need to turn your volume up to hear the boat at all), there is no harmful noise level, nor masking of the effort of the whales to communicate.
Because the animals were moving, we paralleled them and matched their speeds to a “t”. If they stop, we stop - if they leave, then "Aloha!". In a sense, we were ‘part of the pod’ – and our Wild Side #Ohana has years of experience of reading the animals and blending in with their natural behavior – that’s what we specialize in.
There are less than 150 #FalseKillerWhales left in #Hawaiian waters. That's why it's important to document them – and to raise awareness of the elements that are a threat to these beauties. The main threats are bycatch in longline fisheries, entanglement from fishing hooks and lines that can lead to them drowning, toxins from land, and plastic trash that they ingest.