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So Much Wildlife!

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Animal Updates | Mammals | Whale Watching

Thursday, October 26, 2017

James S.

Pod of orcas at the surface - popup
Pod of orcas at the surface Aquarium of the Pacific

It has been a very busy time here at the Aquarium of the Pacific. You may have noticed that we missed a blog entry! There were some technical things we were working on to improve the inner workings of our blogs. Everything is updated and ready to go though! We’ve had some exciting days on the water the past month. I’m sure many folks saw in the news the report about the orca sighting, it was an amazing time getting to see the friendly transient pod of orcas, the CA51s and CA216s. We’ve also had a lot of Risso’s dolphin sightings, which is great for us since they are not usually very frequent. There’s also been the pleasant surprise of multiple minke whale sightings, and they even stayed at the surface for us to get some photos of them. There were even a couple of sightings of blue whales around the beginning of the month.

We’re still in between our major migration seasons of which whales we’re most likely to see. We’ve had some lighter days of sightings, but Harbor Breeze has been great about finding some ocean life for our guests to observe. Within the next couple months, the gray whales will start coming down through our waters on their way to Mexico. But until then we’ll keep our eyes on the water for some great sightings.

The transient orca pod, CA51, has been around the area many times and will often pass through the area as they follow food. We have sightings typically in winter and more often during gray whale season as they follow the gray whales and their calves to hunt them. But as you can see, they will show up whenever they want. The last sighting of the CA51s was in June of this year. This past winter/spring there were a larger number of reports of orca hunts on gray whales than had been previously observed. Scientists believe it’s a matter of the orca training their young how to hunt. The matriarch is in charge of the pod and teaching the young orca how to hunt. Their social dynamics and communication have even been considered indicative of observed human behavior. It’s amazing to see how smart and curious these animals are.

You don’t have to wait for gray whales to be spotted, Harbor Breeze Cruises runs whale watches every day of the year. So why wait? Come on down to Long Beach and beat the heat, get a combo ticket for the whale watch with Harbor Breeze and then visit Aquarium of the Pacific.

See you on the water!