Human beings often look to other humans to learn how to live and operate on this planet. It makes sense for many reasons, however, there’s a lot to be learned from other animals on the planet too. In particular, there are lessons orcas can teach us about life on land!
Orcas are an animal possessing intelligence we have yet to fully understand and have survived for centuries in the waters off British Columbia’s west coast. At first glance the challenges faced by orcas seem vastly different from ours, however, when you take a closer look, there’s a lot we can learn from them.
We’re both looking for food and we both benefit from the support of our families. How different can we be after all?
1. Family Values
Orcas are incredibly social animals. They live with their families just like we do and they even recognize extended families such as cousins and aunts and uncles. Orcas in some eco-types are even known to stay with their mother for their entire lives!
The Southern Resident Killer Whale pods and Bigg’s families we see near Vancouver Island support their family members to make sure each individual is fed and cared for. Sounds like a valuable lesson orcas can teach humans, right?
Orcas, through their unique languages and behaviour, work together to accomplish important tasks such as hunting. Each whale shares its talents with others to serve the greater good. When humans work together too, we can accomplish great things!
3. Respecting Our Environment
Orcas live and travel through a habitat that human beings often take for granted. While we live on land, it’s easy to forget that there’s a lot going on beneath the surface of the ocean we don’t see. When we peak a little closer, there’s a lot to be learned.
Orcas have been working with what they have while under the constant threat of human interference. It is up to us to remember to respect our environment so these magnificent creatures can continue to populate our local waters.
We only have one earth and one ocean for orcas to live in, and it’s up to us to preserve it.
The Salish Sea has seen changes over the past 100 years. There have been changes in the waters due to climate change as well as changes in how humans view orcas.
Granny, officially named J-2, was the matriarch of the J-pod for many years. In fact, it is estimated that she was over 100 years old when she passed away in 2016. She lived through killer whale hunts & captures in the Salish Sea and lived to see humans respecting orcas.
Although much has changed, we still see orcas in our local waters reminding us that this is their home and they deserve to be here.
Orcas are known to show themselves as playful and curious creatures. They gather with their family structures to play and transients are also known to play with their food.
While we’re sure you were taught not to play with your food, it is a reminder that having fun and being playful is necessary for all humans.
Whether on land or in the sea, life can be a test, with challenges to overcome. Good thing we know there are lessons orcas can teach us! We’re grateful to have such powerful neighbours from which we can borrow tips and tricks from time to time.
Are you interested in learning more from orcas and other marine wildlife? Join us for a whale watching tour where you’ll cruise the Salish Sea and experience the wild firsthand. We can’t wait to meet you!