More than 50 mammal-eating Bigg’s orcas were spotted in the waters off southern Vancouver Island Friday, in what experts say is a show of what the difference in food sources can make. Members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association spotted the transient orcas in three groups. One had five families near the San Juan Islands and each family had a calf under the age of two-years-old with them. The other two groups were seen in the Strait of Georgia. “Seeing that many in one day was pretty unusual and great,” said a spokesperson for the Pacific Whale Watch Association. “The PWWA share on radios and when they get excited about something it’s a big deal… and the fact there are so many calves in that group in the San Juan Islands [is fantastic].” The following groups were spotted:
- Five families off the San Juan Islands: T49As, T65Bs, T75Bs, T75Cs, T123s
- Ten families in the Strait of Georgia: T18s, T86As, T99s, T101s, T36, T36As, T36Bs, T137s, T87, T124C
- A final two groups in the Strait of Georgia: T124As and T124Ds.