Smart seal escapes killer whales by hopping in boat
Published Monday, August 17, 2015 1:45PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, August 17, 2015 6:41PM PDT
A quick-thinking harbour seal that wanted to avoid becoming dinner for a pod of orcas off the B.C. coast was caught on camera using a nearby boat to escape them.
The clever creature was spotted over the weekend, when a group of researchers set out to conduct a survey on transient orcas off the Sunshine Coast.
The group was watching orcas circle two of their boats for about 10 minutes before swam took off, according to Josh McInnes, a University of Victoria student researcher who helps run the Transient Killer Whale Research Project.
“As we moved closer to their prior location a couple on a yacht told us there was a seal on the back of their boat,” McInnes told CTV News. “We watched as the seal clung for life in order to escape those orca.”
The seal had perched itself on a Zodiac boat just out of the reach of the pod of orcas until they swam away.
It’s not an uncommon behaviour for seals and other marine mammals to use boats, rocks or kelp beds to try to hide from predators, McInnes said.
“If caught in open water as this seal was they will try to find a flat form of any means,” he said.
The two orca pods were two different families known as the T018’s and T124’s, according to McInnes.