SAN JUAN ISLAND, Wash. (FOX 13) - For orcas, hunting can be a family affair. That’s what a team of whale watchers caught on video off San Juan Island in Washington state on Tuesday.
Amazing footage shared by Western Prince Whale Watching showed a family of Bigg's killer whales hunting for sea lions. The whale watchers recognized the orcas as a 32-year-old mother nicknamed Sidney and her two kids, a 17-year-old male nicknamed Stanley and a 5-year-old female nicknamed Lucky.
The trio was cruising off the north shore of San Juan Island, which is about halfway between Seattle and Vancouver. When they spotted a Steller sea lion, the chase was on. WPWW’s Traci Walter, who was watching the encounter through a 600mm lens, said the hunt lasted several minutes and appeared quite dramatic, but may have been unsuccessful.
“It did not appear that they finished or ate the sea lion, and after the attack, they quickly moved out of the area,” she noted.
Bigg’s orcas are very family-oriented, and some offspring remain with the mother for life.
“All three family members got involved in the hunt, but you will notice the 5-year-old gets in there quite a bit at the end,” Walter continued. “It's always amazing to see how young these animals in to learn the skills to survive.”