Orca River Otter Predation – 3/1/24

Well…predation or attempted predation. Today on the eastern shore of Whidbey Island we saw members of the T124As and T124Ds, chase a river otter. While Bigg’s orcas are marine mammal eaters, river otters aren’t usually on their diet, so this was unusual.

We are still sorting through IDs, but I feel comfortable saying the T124A4s were present and the T124Ds. I am pretty sure I have T124A in my photos, but still scratching my head with just who exactly was on scene. Often when we are shooting a hunt, we are doing just that….point, focus, shoot! What we are capturing isn’t truly revealed until we pull our pictures up for editing. The four of us present for the hunt were a bit shocked to find out this was a RIVER OTTER predation, or attempted predation. The wee furry popped up a few times in my set, but ultimately, we did not see it swim away, and a friend feels she has the moment the little otter met its maker. However, you can choose to believe he/she made it if you wish!

Most of the time during the predation the juveniles were engaged. This may have been a hunt/kill lesson for the littles. I do have a picture t where the matrilines were tail lobbing a rhinoceros auklet in the air. I’m starting to believe a lot of surface activity is related to orca playing with birds. This was a first for me. I’ve witnessed many predations, but never on an otter.

-Cindi

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