The Whale Centre, an eco-friendly tour operator located in Tofino, says it recently had an experience with killer whales that the company hasn’t documented since its inception.
On Wednesday, The Whale Centre says that a team headed out in search of some recently sighted Fin Whales off the coast of Tofino but came across Bigg’s Killer Whales instead.
As the group approached, there was a lot of splashing and porpoising. It was determined that the pod of whales was attacking a juvenile humpback whale.
“We have NEVER documented this before,” reads a statement from The Whale Centre, which has been in operation for over 35 years.
“The Transient Killer Whales, T036’s and T049C and possibly more, were working over a small humpback whale.”
In a Facebook post, The Whale Centre remarked that the humpback had rake marks all over its tail, body and fins and noted that it was bleeding.
In an effort to escape, the small whale swam over towards The Whale Centre’s vessel while the Bigg’s whales just continued to swim onwards, leaving it alone.
“As pack hunters, killer whales can take down prey much larger than themselves and typically target calves and yearlings rather than full-grown adults,” notes the company. “We have observed Transient Killer Whales attacking grey whales but this was a first to see them work over a humpback whale.”