Meet T19C, Spouter 🐳
Spouter may not be the hulk that his older brother Galiano is, but one thing is certain, it’s double trouble when you put the two T19 boys together. These males are not ones to back down from a challenge, even if that challenge is taking down a whale…
On September 12, 2018, whale watchers were in for a unique encounter when they came upon the T18s circling the glassy waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. While conditions were calm, the fog was thick, making for a somewhat eerie setting. As the four Bigg’s circled, apparently in feeding mode, someone spotted a large roll of blubber floating at the surface (photo 2). The only visible remnants of what was a baleen whale to be sure, likely a minke.
We may never know for certain just how this grisly scene came to be, but we do know that the T18s have been seen taking on species larger than themselves…
Naturalist @shorelinesnaturephotography was witness to just such an event that took place in August 2016. The T18s, and members of the T36Bs and T99s, were seen engaging with two humpback whales, one mature and one juvenile. Were the Bigg’s just testing the juvenile, or did they mean to take down a hefty meal? Witnesses to the scene never found out, because two more mature humpback whales came to intervene. @shorelinesnaturephotography recalls trying to keep track of the action that unfolded, recalling “lots of trumpeting” on the part of the humpbacks, and “lots of maneuvering underwater”. In the end, the Bigg’s retreated, perhaps moving on to find a more manageable meal.
For those interested, humpback whale Orion (BCX1251) was one of the two that came to the rescue. Orion is a Salish Sea regular with a reputation for getting into skirmishes with killer whales.
T19C was born in 2001, and is nicknamed after Spouter Island in Nootka Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
📸 1) @smurph.travel
📸 2) @islandadventurewhales - 14 minutes ago