Seen a killer whale lately? If so, you’re not the only one.
The reason these giant mammals have been sited near San Diego is because they migrate off the coast every year, according to SeaWorld.
“They just aren’t seen very often,” said spokesperson Alexandra Kuty in an email.
Additional seals in the area also bring the black and white whales nearby.
“There has been an increase in pinnipeds in the area and that’s their favorite food source,” Kenny Manzoni of Adventure Rib Rides said to NBC 7 San Diego last week.
Since then, his business has seen a little uptick in passengers hoping to see orcas. They can’t guarantee that passengers will see a whale, but recently the customers have regularly seen the large mammals in their natural habitat.
Passengers encountered an orca again this morning, Manzoni said. San Diego Whale Watch also saw a killer whale 8 miles off the coast of Mission Bay.
In addition, tours have seen both blue and fin whales, which will swim in San Diego waters until October.
“The blue whales have just been getting better and better every year,” Manzoni said.
He said his crew has nicknamed the orca “Bubbles” because it forces air through its blowhole whenever people are nearby.
He speculated that the reason the killer whales in the area have been so visible this time around is because they’re curious. The juvenile whale has also been seen swimming alongside other creatures.
“This one seems to be especially friendly to boats, and dolphins,” Manzoni said.
But people still need to proceed with caution if they see an orca in the ocean.
“They’re right at the top of the food chain,” Manzoni said. “They don’t call them killer whales for nothing.”
“As per the Marine Mammal Protection Act, we must keep out distance from all marine life in the wild,” stated Kuty. “People should never approach them in the wild.”