23 September 2005

Australia: Killer whales spotted off Gold Coast

There was a rare sight for whale watchers on the Gold Coast yesterday, when they came across a group of killer whales.

Killer whales, also known as orcas, are usually seen only in cooler waters to the south, where they are known to hunt other species of whale.

Lloyd Bebe from a local whale watching charter boat company says the orcas were travelling close to a group of humpbacks.

"We stopped at a set of humpback whales, a pod, and they were acting, what's the word, edgy," he said.

"And then we stopped at another set and they were acting very edgy, and then we stopped at another set and they were edgy, and then I received a call from a boat called Grinner, he does the shark nets for the Gold Coast and he called us down and there was a group of about 15 whales."

Mr Bebe says the orcas probably strayed to the north while hunting prey, which could have included the nearby humpbacks.

"Normally they are in the colder waters, they can travel to any ocean they like, I've never seen one before, and there's no-one in the Gold Coast that I've spoke to today that has seen one in this area ever," he said.

Source: www.abc.net.au


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