# of killer whales: 9
ID: CA236, CA239
Very rare whale sighting. A group of 9 orcas, including a male, two juveniles, and a calf, stayed in tight formation while we traveled west with them for almost two hours yesterday. We matched two of these orcas, CA236 and CA239, to a sighting we had in 2005 - nearly 17 years ago - when a group of orcas attacked a Rissos's dolphin! They have not been linked by association with the transients Bigg's killer whale population that we see throughout the year; they may very well belong to another population of mammal specialists that spend most of their time offshore. CA236 looks like she probably has a new calf accompanying her. We would need to encounter them a few more times to confirm who the mom is - since killer whales will often babysit their relative's calves. A very exciting encounter - and the longest gap period we have documented between sightings of individual whales!
Photo 1 - CA239 2020 by Wyatt Walsh and 2005 by Bridget Watts
Photo 2 - CA236 2022 by Scottie Schmidt
Photo 3 - Scottie Schmidt
Photo 4 - Mike Kauffmann
Photo 5 - Daniel Bianchetta