Killer whales make surprise appearance in Vancouver
Published Wednesday, May 11, 2011 5:09PM PDT
A group of killer whales made a surprise appearance in Burrard Inlet Wednesday morning, jumping and splashing in the water for enchanted onlookers in Stanley Park.
The transient killer whales passed under Lions Gate Bridge early in the morning and made it at least as far east as the Second Narrows Bridge before heading back out to open water.
Lance Barrett-Lennard, a scientist at the Vancouver Aquarium, told ctvbc.ca that the mammal-eating whales likely feasted on the inlet's plentiful harbour seals before bidding farewell to the city.
"They were very active," he said. "That kind of behaviour is usually what they do when they've been fed."
Barrett-Lennard says that there have been more and more sightings of transient killer whales in the lower Strait of Georgia in recent years, but busy Burrard Inlet isn't a particularly enticing place for the animals, which rely on their keen sense of hearing to find prey.
"The amount of noise from the boat traffic is just staggering," he said. "I suspect that, particularly for transients, it's got to be a pretty unattractive place to come."
The whales weren't the only marine mammals to entertain Metro Vancouverites in recent days.
On Tuesday, a group of Pacific white-sided dolphins was spotted frolicking near Ambleside Park in West Vancouver.