Looking into the Eyes of the Prey – 5/7/14

When we found the whales near Thetis Island, they were doing what whales do, travelling, milling about. While we watched them with engines off, I noticed off our starboard side a Harbour Seal. Everyone was looking at the whales off our stern but I was looking at the seal. The way these Orcas are acting, it seemed like maybe they are going to start a hunt.

As I was filming the seal, I was oblivious to the predators and then WHAM!, either T124A or T124A3 made a pounce and went right through the seal and we didn’t see the seal again. With 7 Orca present they must’ve made short work of it, it was gone pretty quickly.

I have seen many hunts on various species but I’ll never get that close to the prey species again. I was all about the seal while the passengers were all about the whales.

Which made me wonder, what impact did we have on the seal? Was it distracted by us? Would it have been more aware of the killer whales if we weren’t there? Who knows.


This post was adapted from a voice recording in the fourteenth episode of the Whale Tales Podcast, listen here

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