Featured Image Credit: US.Whales.Org
By Emily Persico
While observing a pod of a thousand dolphins chomping on sardines, marine tour guide and photographer duo Rainer and Silke Schimpf discovered a disabled orca whale. The young cetacean was quite bare, missing both its dorsal and right pectoral fins. Robbed of the ability to hunt, the disabled calf relied on its pod to care and support it. Its future looked quite grim then. As it swam off into the horizon, the couple named the whale Sira and said their goodbyes.
Fast-forward four years…
Rainer and Silke are back at it and exploring the very same patch of ocean off the coast of South Africa—And then they spotted it!
Riding on a wave of glory, Sira comes swimming past, the leader of its pod in the quest for food. Orcas are social creatures with unique cultures that vary among pods. Apparently, the culture of this pod was one of acceptance for Sira.