Large Numbers of Killer Whales Spotted in Pacific Northwest

Researchers have been surprised by a number of exotic orcas who have suddenly started appearing in the Pacific Northwest, which is not their typical territory.
Researchers have been surprised by a number of exotic orcas who have suddenly started appearing in the Pacific Northwest, which is not their typical territory.

This fall killer whales have been spotted in the inland waters of Washington and British Columbia in big numbers. The whales which are also known as exotic orcas or outer coastal orcas belong to a subgroup of the species which is normally found at the edge of the continental shelf off California or far away in Alaska. These exotic orcas have now been strangely appearing around British Columbia’s Vancouver Island and the Strait of Jaun de Fuca.

The exotic orcas are different to the resident orcas of Puget Sound area. The exotic orcas eat marine mammals while the resident orcas feast on salmons.

Mark Malleson of Victoria based Prince of Whales Whale Watching, said, “Since September we have spotted many groups of exotic orca killer whales in these waters. In my eighteen years in this business I have never seen so many of them. They were five times in numbers.”

Researchers have failed to understand the reasons behind their arrival in inland waters. Some are suggesting that the increase in population of transient orcas could be driving exotic orcas in the inland waters. While some are attributing it to the boom in the seals and sea lion population — which the whales prey upon – as the prime reason.

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SOURCE: The Voice Chronicle
Tamas Veronika

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