Orca appears to adopt (or abduct) a baby pilot whale

Researchers aboard a whale watching boat in Iceland were baffled in 2021 when they saw a female orca swimming alongside a very unusual calf. The tiny animal didn’t have a white spot near its eye like orcas (opens in new tab) (Orcinus orca) do and, as it turned out, wasn’t even from the same species.

Orca researcher Marie-Thérèse Mrusczok (opens in new tab) was working as the spotter on the top deck of the Láki Tours whale watching boat off the island’s west coast when she sighted the orca and what she suspected was a pilot whale.

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