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Dana Points First Gray Whale Could Be Killer Whale Attack Survivor
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Published on Dec 16, 2012
Excited whale watching passengers aboard Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari saw the return of gray whales off Dana Point, California, on Saturday. The first gray whale of the season whale had chunks taken out of its tail flukes, a tell-tale sign of a killer whale attack. According to Captain Dave Anderson, an estimated 35% of gray whale calves are attacked and killed by transient Orca.
Gray whales make one of the longest migrations of any mammal and are seen every winter off Orange County. The whales travel over 12,000 miles from the Chukchi and Bering Seas to the lagoons of Baja, California, where they mate and have their calves.
Whale watchers see gray whales off Dana Point from December through April and sometimes as late as May. They are often spotted within just a mile or so of the shoreline, where some believe they use Dana Point's headlands as a landmark on their journey, making them a popular whale to watch. In early March, Dana Point Harbor will celebrate the 42nd annual Festival of Whales with ocean-themed events and activities that have an emphasis on education and environmental responsibility.
Throughout their migration gray whales face many challenges and hazards one of which takes the lives of nearly 1,000 whales and dolphins every day. Scientists estimate that 308,000 dolphins and whales die because of fishing gear entanglement every year worldwide. Captain Dave organized Orange County's only whale disentanglement group in 2008 and has successfully disentangled several gray whales, including Lily, whose disentanglement made national headlines. Capt. Dave authored the book, "Lily, A Gray Whale's Odyssey", a magnificent photographic journey of a gray whale's migration.
Whale watchers of all ages can see gray whales plus huge herds of wild dolphins on daily trips aboard Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari's unique catamaran sailboat. The high-tech, high-speed, boat features the world's only Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods and live broadcasting of the trip at www.whalewatchingtv.com
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