In a rare and incredible sighting, passengers on board a catamaran as part of a whale watching tour witnessed the live birth of a false killer whale off the coast of Dana Point on Saturday.
“We got to see something most people will never see in their lives,” a female passenger on the boat could be heard saying on a video that recorded the live birth and was posted to Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari’s YouTube channel.
“You can tell it’s newly-born because the dorsal fin is laid over,” Captain Tom Southern, a.k.a. Capt. Dave, said on camera. “When they’re born, the dorsal fin is laid over for ease of birth,” he explained to those on board. The video shows a pool of blood in the water where the mother gave birth to her baby just moments before.
False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are the third-largest members of the dolphin family. They are rarely seen off the coast of Southern California, as they are ordinarily found in warmer, more tropical waters. They often travel in pods consisting anywhere between 10-60 other false killer whales.
According to a KTLA News, Capt. Dave said, “What a once in a lifetime thing to see! In over twenty years on the water I have never seen anything like that. And I know of no one who has ever seen a wild Pseudorca birth!”
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.