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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Drama in the high seas off Kalpitiya

Sent in by Srianee Dias
Hi Lucky,

This link was sent to me by one of my younger relatives.  It is a series of outstanding photographs taken in the ocean off Kalpitiya.  The photos document a confrontation between Orcas (called 'killer whales' but in actuality the largest species of the dolphin family) and whales. There is also a narrative accompanying the photos that explains the drama.  I have been on a few whale watching trips in the USA, both on the West coast and off Cape Cod, but have never seen anything as dramatic as this.  Unfortunately, the website includes some advertisements.  I felt that it was something worth sharing, because the whales that are inhabiting the ocean around Sri Lanka are getting a lot of international attention.  I have not yet been able to see the whales in Sri Lanka, but hopefully will get around to it very soon.  Check it out Lucky, and post it if you think it is appropriate. It is quite amazing!

Srianee

See some wonderful images and the story behind them…. Drama in the high seas of Kalpitiya
 

14 comments:

  1. Thanks Srianee, that was awesome! I wish we could have seen a video. I saw whales in New Zealand and it was an amazing sight. Saw Orcas in Canada. Next SL visit, trip to Kalpitiya essential. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Mahen, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I thought the photos were superb. I wish I could have witnessed it. It is a special experience to see magnificent creatures like these in their natural habitat. I've read that Sea World is not going to show Orcas anymore. About time! I'm not sure what they will do with the ones that are already in captivity.

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  3. Srianee
    Amazing photos of Orcas and the beautiful Indian Ocean. I saw them in Hermanus near Cape Town on the 'Garden Route'. Kalpitiya was on our radar working in the Blood Bank where we visited the place once a year. Never did I know these wonderful creatures were just around the corner from me. Or is it a new spawning ground for these graceful mammals? Importantly they are there now in our tropical paradise. Thank you.

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  4. Hi Nihal, I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. It is quite possible that these mammals were there all along, but they are getting attention because of the research that is going on. One of the researchers, Asha DeVos, was featured on a BBC special on TV which I saw several years ago. She gave a talk at the BMICH while I was in Colombo, but I missed it it because I had promised to do something else. She has given several TED talks too. I intend to check those out one of these days. I'll send you the links when I find them.

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    1. Asha de Vos is a marine biologist and TED Fellow who specializes in researching and working with marine mammals. She has degrees from the Universities of St. Andrews and Oxford, and her PhD from the University of Western Australia. She oversees the Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project, the first long-term study on blue whales within the northern Indian Ocean.

      A Duke University Global Fellow in Marine Conservation, de Vos previously worked at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature while she has also consulted with the National Aquatic Research Agency. She was a panelist at the Rio+20 summit in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.
      What others say
      “The unique Sri Lankan blue whales live in busy shipping waters. Marine biologist Asha de Vos is using mathematical models to put them out of harm's way.” — New Scientist

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  5. Srianee, Thank you- They are gorgeous!

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  6. Lately, I am increasingly convinced how much we underrate the intelligence of animals. I know they do communicate with each other but I don't think we can compare their communication skills with what we have, i.e., language. If animals can "talk", they would be better understood and valued. These whales, orcas, elephants, and ebven dogs and cats exhibit behaviour which is so complex and must surely indicate that they have much more self awareness and "intelligence" than we credit them with.

    The notion of spreading loving kindness to ALL living beings is becoming more and more meaningful to me. We can debate on what is consciuosness and whether animals possess consciousness but it appears to me that they do have self awareness and awareness of others and their needs. Becoming a vegetarian because you love and r espect animals and not because of a self imposed discipiline for discipline's sake expecting future rewards, makes sense to me. I was always amused at some people I know who pride themselves on being vegetarians but have no hesitation in kicking a dog or a cat!

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    1. Mahen
      I agree with what you say, entirely. To digress, have you noticed if you write a comment, letter, email or an article in the evening or night there is a tendency for it to be philosophical, emotional, nostalgic or rather soft than when its done in the morning. Sometimes reading in the light of day what I have written in the night I am surprised. I am pretty certain it is a well recognised phenomenon.

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    2. Interesting point ND. Must reflect on that now (11.00AM) and again at 11.00pm! I always had this philosophical questioing streak in me and may be it is getting stronger as I age!

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    3. Perhaps it is the circadian rhythm and cortisone in the blood. Just trying to be clever!!!

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  7. Well worth watching the TED talk referred to by Srianee This is the link: http://www.ted.com/talks/asha_de_vos_why_you_should_care_about_whale_poo

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  8. Thanks for the link Mahen- glad I watched it.

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  9. Thanks a lot Srianee, I had a whale of a time indeed, watching those beautiful photos of their antics. And we have these on our shores there and how many of us have bothered to view them? You have done a great job. And I have learned a lot from the comments too.Thanks again! from Zita

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  10. HI everyone, I'm back after being distracted by the chores of re-entry into the US (toxic?) atmosphere! I'm glad all of you enjoyed these images. Mahen thank you for the information on Asha de Vos and for posting the link. I dropped the ball didn't I? But I'm glad you picked it up. We should all be proud of her dedication and achievements. I was also intrigued by what ND said, that one is more philosophical and emotional at night. Perhaps that is a discussion we can continue later, if someone can find any prior publications on the subject. May be it is a right brain vs left brain phenomenon...

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