The trip down to the South Shetland Islands and peninsular Antarctica has been spectacular. In one day's travel, we came across upwards of 60 humpbacks, including mother and calves, some breaching, others feeding among the broken ice. We have had to abandon a couple of potential landing sites due to high winds – with gusting winds over 40 knots, it’s just not safe to take a zodiac in. However, about 6 yesterday evening, as we started to move the ship to a sheltered spot to spend the night, we came across a pod of Orca. The Captain turned the ship between the ice flows, and after about 5 minutes, the pod started coming to us. I scanned across the pod that I was watching (there were a couple close by) and in one scan counted 26 different blows – we estimated more than 50 Orca, perhaps even higher. Part of the pod came right at the boat, including a mother and calf. They were Antarctic B type Orca; they have a rusty yellow/brown coloration due to a diatom that imbeds in them. Phenomenal sight, just as the sun was going down. Breathtaking. We are now travelling down Iceberg Alley (Antarctic Sound), having set up another camera today on the continent itself. These are massive icebergs, many several hundred metres in length, which have broken off the ice shelf.
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Every month one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the month.
Follow the latest news on ZSL’s Arts & Culture projects at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos, and ZSL’s conservation work through the lense of the Arts.
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Join the ZSL Discovery and Learning team as they venture out of the zoo and in to the wild.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's elephant keepers give an insight into the daily goings on in the elephant barn.
Read about conservation of tigers in Asia.
One man is boldly going where no other ZSL videographer has gone before - the land of Mountain Chicken Frogs.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo. Bringing you amazing animal facts and exclusive access to the world's scientific oldest zoo.
From the field, to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
The Wildlife Wood Project has been working in Cameroon since 2007 to encourage better wildlife management in logging concessions.
Updates from penguin conservation expeditions to Antarctica
Amur leopard conservation blog
Meet ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's latest (and leggiest) arrival, a baby giraffe!
Follow the ZSL Biodiversity and Palm Oil team, based in Bogor, Indonesia.
The Chagos marine reserve, designated in 2010 and currently the world’s largest no take marine reserve, is a sought-after spot for marine research.
Follow ZSL’s amphibian experts in their quest to find out why 41% of the world’s amphibians are threatened and what can be done to stop more species becoming extinct.
Follow ZSL conservationists studying desert baboons in Namibia.