A transient or Bigg's killer whale attacks a migratory gray whale off the Pacific Coast. (Photo: NOAA Fisheries)
Members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) were lucky enough to witness of a battle between four transient orcas or killer whales as they attacked a pair of gray whales in Puget Sound.
The team was of the Whidbey Island shore when the four killer whales headed north into Saratoga Passage and encountered a pair of adult gray whales. The team did not expect that the orcas would attack gray whales, but they proved to be wrong.
Young male orca T137A split off from is group and started the battle, but the grays were no less and gave him a couple of blows. Capt. Michael Colahan of Island Adventures said that the gray whales were not at all happy with what happened.
Soon, the T137A was circling the gray whales. But he noticed that he has been stuck in between two giant gray whales, the T137A called up for the help of his mother orca, who with his two younger child went and put up a fight against the gray whales.
The mother orca joined her offspring and headed to safety north, leaving the battle. Colahan affirmed, “It was the most amazing thing I have seen in all my life and my mind spent the rest of the trip in an adrenaline-fueled cloud”.
The two gray whales were identified as #56 and #531 and they survived the attack with no visible injuries. Gray whales are dubbed as devil fish by whalers as they are the types of whales that will fight back during hunting.
On the other hand, orcas are not considered killer whales, but sometimes, like this, they can take such steps. Gray whales migrate from South California to Alaska underway. They take a stopover in Puget Sound to feed on shrimp.