Over the summer, Victoria’s Inner Harbor received many unexpected welcome visits from a killer whale pod. In a matter of little over a week two visits happened, and several others occurred during the summer.
According to a local whale watching captain, Jackie Cowan, the pod that came into the harbor were transient whales. They came into the harbor by following the tide towards seals and sea lions that tend to hang out in the area.
Jackie said that the whales followed the incoming tide due to an influx of nutrients that whales know as seal attractants. Although the thought process of the whales was good, they only stayed in the harbor for about 30 minutes for one trip. Another trip inside lasted about an hour. The whales don’t seem to enjoy sticking around the busy port area. However, it was the first time that killer whales had been spotted that far into the harbor in a while.
No one is quite sure why the visits are more frequent this year, but for whatever reason the whales are showing a preference to the area. It could be related to falling food supplies, human disturbance, or could just be the curiosity of the killer whales. Unlike their resident counterparts, transient killer whales seem to focus on less more available sources of food, instead of mostly salmon.
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