PORT ANGELES, Wash. — Boat captains on the Salish Sea witnessed a rare event when a large group of whales harassed each other off the coast of Washington State.
Captains with the Pacific Whale Watch Association saw a group of Bigg’s (transient) orcas and a pair of humpback whales interacting for hours Thursday, KIRO reported.
PWWA shared a video of the activity, which captains said started when they saw a group of approximately 15 killer whales being unusually active at the surface of the water near the U.S./Canada border in the Strait of Juan De Fuca.
The reason for the whales’ activity became apparently when two humpback whales were spotted among the group, KIRO reported.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it because it was absolutely unbelievable,” Mollie Naccarato, a captain and naturalist for Sooke Coastal Explorations, said in a statement. “At first the orcas seemed to be chasing the humpbacks, but then when it seemed there was space between them, the humpbacks would go back toward the orcas.”
PWAA naturalists identified some of the orcas as being a group frequently encountered on the outer coast, KIRO reported. The humpback whales were also identified as “Reaper,” who is at least 4, and “Hydra,” an adult female.
After three hours of “breaching, tail-slapping and loud vocalizations,” the whales all disappeared into the fog, KIRO reported.
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