A family of killer whales – likely transients – was spotted about 90 metres (100 yards) off the west end of Hopkins beach near Gibsons on Tuesday evening, including a rare sighting of an orca calf.

“We were sitting in our family room and I looked out and I saw – it was very close – the dorsal fin of a killer whale and then we saw there were four of them and we saw the little baby,” said Guy Perry.

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He and his spouse, Jane, had seen the orcas with the calf last week, but this time they were much closer, allowing them to capture the whales on video.

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Based on that footage, DFO marine mammal coordinator Paul Cottrell said they are likely transient killer whales. Transient killer whales live in smaller groups than resident killer whales and eat marine mammals.

“It’s great to see transients,” said Cottrell, who said lots of harbour seals have also been sighted “cruising around and looking for a meal.”

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While Perry has observed killer whales more than a dozen times before, an orca calf was a first. Last week, when the whales swam by, they could hear the spray from their blowholes.

 

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