Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Over 130 orca whales spotted upon their return to Vancouver Island waters


Whale-watchers and nature enthusiasts, get down to the water and bring binoculars!

The Orca Behavior Institute was thrilled to announce the presence of over 130 orca whales in the Salish Sea on Thursday, August 17th!

They noted that the Southern Residents hadn’t been seen in inland waters in over six weeks and for the K-pod as well as some of the L-pod whales, this is their first trip back since mid-January. 

It is believed that the L54 sub-group was present, and can confirm that they spotted L126 and L127. 

Additionally, scattered around the San Juan and Southern Gulf Islands, the Orca Behaviour Institute confirmed the presence of at least 60 individual Bigg’s killer whales throughout the Salish Sea today!

Since Thursday, many sightings have been reported — including what is likely the youngest orca in the Salish Sea.

On August 3rd, the T75Bs were seen in Johnstone Strait without a calf, and then were seen in the Strait of Juan de Fuca on August 11th with a calf. The calf has been observed traveling with both T75B Pebbles and T75B2 Jasper.

Did you know that orcas have a 18 month gestation period? 

Their return comes around the same time that Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (Tokitae), the last Southern Resident whale in captivity, passed away — believed to have rejoined her relatives in the Salish Sea. 

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