Kingu was forced to swim through an oil slick to get to his mother, a few chapters back.
Kingu has never been the same since the oil incident in the spring. His urine has a funny smell. He is always hungry, but he tires quickly, even though he is in fair physical condition.— Ice Walker: A Polar Bear’s Journey Through the Fragile Arctic, by James Raffan, Chapter 8 (“Independence”)
A few pages later, the family of three encounters a pod of orcas. The mother and son “dive deeper to swim away from the whales.” But the female, Singu, whose body mass isn’t as great, is buffeted and the whales attack again and again, having observed that Singu is the weakest of the three. Somehow, she is separated from her mother and brother, and a smack from a whale fin knocks her unconscious. Nanu dives again and again, trying to nudge her unconscious cub to the surface. But Singu is unresponsive and sinks like a stone.
Mother and son swim on.
Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.