VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Whales appear to be getting closer to the shores of Vancouver more often and researchers say it’s not a bad thing.
Caitlin Birdsall with Ocean Wise says an increase in the harbour seal population is drawing the Bigg’s killer whales into the waters of False Creek and Burrard Inlet.
“We’ve actually seen them over the last decade really utilizing the waters around southern British Columbia and the Strait of Georgia area just outside Vancouver more and more,” she says. “These are the marine mammal eating type of killer whales, so they feed on seals, sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, sometimes other whales.”
She says the seal population is growing after a cull ended in the 1970s.
“The killer whales have figured this out,” Birdsall says. “All of a sudden they realize that there is plentiful food in this area and so they’re utilizing this area, they’re moving through areas that they can reliably find harbour seals, which are an easy prey item for them.”
The Transients were spotted in False Creek on June 12 and Burrard Inlet has been the site of several sightings in the last three months.