Tahafa, humpback whale calf #14 of the 2011 season in Vava’u, swimming along with his mother. This calf sustained significant injury all over its body, possibly from an attack by false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens). One of the most egregious wounds was inflicted to the anterior part of the calf’s dorsal fin, which appears to have been bitten off. The wound is partially visible here. Despite the traumatic encounter, the calf grew into a strong, healthy juvenile over the 33-day period during which I came across this mother and baby nine times in both the Vava’u area and Toku Island. There was a long-term escort that accompanied this pair for at least 14 days.
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