Up Close Orca (Not for Squeamish)

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These are my photos.  I have copyrighted them.  They go with this blog post and are not for using (stealing) to promote the cruelty of man, whale deaths, whale killings, whale hunting or any other such wrong doing. 

If I find them on the internet unattached to this blog, I will hunt you down with a large invoice that will make your eyes water.

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Orca washed up near Walls – Shetland News

This morning, the orca was towed onto the Mainland (the largest of the islands on Shetland) and, as it was situate just down the road,  we went to have a look.

A dead orca is a spectator sport in Shetland.

Not to be missed.

I will probably never get this chance again.

Seeing the orca up close was amazing.

The whale was examined yesterday by the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS) and samples were taken at various points on the body.

The Orca or Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) was a 5 metre long (15′) female, thought to be ten years old.  I have just looked on Wikipedia and apparently Orcas mature at the age of 10. I was told that this whale’s ovaries, womb, etc were all hanging outside of her body. 

I think those are the nipples usually hidden in the mammary slit (I am learning here).

I could be wrong, though. Seriously, don’t ever quote me and if I am giving out the wrong information, please tell me.

She had lots of gaugings and marks, poor thing.  The sea had taken its toll.

Her skin – the black bits – felt like plastic.  Most odd.  Very well made plastic.

I was fascinated by the difference between the black and white colour.  There was such a specific delineation.

And her teeth.  Oh wow.  Not huge but certainly efficient and effective.

The line of the tail and the fins that were visible were amazing.


I think the most disappointing part was her eye.  It was a nastly little brown slit.  Funnily enough, no birds would go near.  With my cold, I have no sense of smell but apparently she was beginning to niff a bit.

Daisy, who has a Biology degree, was fascinated.

We all were.

9 thoughts on “Up Close Orca (Not for Squeamish)

  1. Carol E.

    What fabulous abstracts/close-ups you’ve taken. Thank you for sharing the visual without the odiferous.

    Do you know what will happen now? Will it be towed out to sea again? Are there marine mammal protection laws that prevent people from using bits of it? (Whale teeth jewelry??)

    If you learn what causes the “tunneling” on the skin, please share.

    My nose is squeamish but the rest of me is fascinated!

  2. Michelle

    Please share if experts decipher the cause of death! Seeing sea mammals washed ashore always makes me sad, but all creatures die and not always of old age.

  3. Deb Twomey

    Thank you for sharing,Francis. I saw many Orcas washed in when i lived in maine..but never close-up. Please tell us if there is more info on Cause of death/why her female organs were out, etc. I find this stuff fascinating !!

  4. Terri

    Poor beautiful creature. Your photos are fascinating, if disturbing. That’s life…and death. Can’t help but feeling sad though.

  5. Nancy

    I wonder what happened to her, poor thing.

    I hope it is not anything like humans doing sonic bomb testing or something like that which caused her death.

  6. Louise Stopford

    Poor Orca – It is always so sad to see a wonderful creature like this dead. Just hope her demise had nothing to do with mankind. Your photo’s are amazing.


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