The beginning of the week brought unexpected visitors to Cape Cod. A pod of killer whales (also known as orcas) was spotted nearby the coast. Fishermen caught sight of the four mammals on Tuesday (August 23).
The fishermen were actually a group of friends, Alex Wyckoff (17), Justin Daly (20) and Matt and Mark Ward (21 and 18, respectively), who went fishing, but tuna ceased to become their main interest. They reported that were 12 miles off Chatham when they noticed that something different was in the water.
At first, they only saw birds hovering above the water. Initially, they thought that there must have been a humpback whale. When getting their boat closer, they realized they had been wrong and witnessed the real cause of the bustle: there was not one, but four killer whales in the water. A pod actually.
The four friends couldn’t believe the extraordinary event they were witnessing. One of them even managed to film the marine animals as they were swimming around. The footage was also shared with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.
Alex Wyckoff remembers the impact that this encounter first had on them:
“We did not know they were orcas at first, because we only saw the spouts. Matt and I ran and got up onto the tower as quickly as possible, while Mark and Justin stayed below. We were at first in disbelief.”
He further declared for The Globe:
“We have seen white sharks, but since the whales are foreign to these waters for the most part, we were ecstatic. They ended up being very playful … Really an amazing experience!”
Killer whales, whose scientific name is Orcinus orca, are the largest members of the Delphinidae family. They are toothed whales, and they feed on fish, but also on dolphins, seals, and other marine animals. They are fierce predators but are not dangerous to humans.
Some species of killer whales are listed as endangered species. The reasons behind the reduced numbers of the populations are water pollution, hunting, and loss of habitat. Killer whales are also kept in captivity in parks, and when trying to tame them, incidents may happen, including the death of caretakers.
However, wild killer whales are not a threat. So you have nothing to fear if you go out on your boat and something similar to the Cape Cod event happens to you too.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia