Call of the Killer Whale

The most complex marine species on the planet, our counterparts in the sea, are the orca, the ruler of the ocean. They are the most widely distributed marine mammal in the world. Their realm extends from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Orcas, also called killer whales, number fewer than 100,000 worldwide, and learning more about them is a global endeavor for Jean-Michel Cousteau and his team of explorers, who travel to both the northern and southern hemispheres as they seek out killer whales in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Preparation

The team prepare to move the juvenile orca onto a flat bed trailer which they will use to transport her to calmer waters. © Matthew Ferraro, Ocean Futures Society

Rakey

Jean-Michel pauses for a picture with "Rakey", the stranded Orca. It is thought that "Rakey" stranded while attempting to feed on stingrays in the shallow waters. © Matthew Ferraro, Ocean Futures Society

Calm

Jean-Michel Cousteau and Ingrid Visser calm the stranded juvenile orca. © Matthew Ferraro, Ocean Futures Society

Jean-Michel and Rakey

Jean-Michel Cousteau braves the high winds and cold temperature to assist with the orca rescue, led by Dr. Ingrid Visser. © Matthew Ferraro, Ocean Futures Society

Tail

An Orca tail slap of the coast of New Zealand. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

New Zealand Orca

New Zealand Orca surface. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

Arrival

Jean-Michel Cousteau and Dr. Ingrid Visser arrive at the Orca Stranding site on Whatipu Beach, Auckland's remote west coast. © Matthew Ferraro, Ocean Futures Society

Success

Success! A seabird finds its meal, fresh stingray liver! © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

Lunch

Sea birds take advantage of the Orcas' lunch and feed on the livers on stingrays. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

New Zealand Orca

New Zealand Orca surface. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

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