Following the last sighting in 2010, footage captured last week showed an orca pod in Guam’s waters.
Fisheries biologist, Bret Tibbet from the Guam Department of Agriculture, spoke with NewsTalkK57’s Patti Arroyo this morning about the rare orca sighting off Orote point.
According to Tibbet, though sightings of orcas in tropical waters are not common as they are cold-water animals, Guam has experienced orca sightings periodically over the past 40 years.
The phenomenon may have to do with transient groups following their prey, says Tibbet— in this case, sperm whales, which usually migrate through Guam around August and January.
He explained further, “Orcas are uncommon anywhere in the tropics, but certainly, along here…Occasionally, you’ll get what is called transient groups that migrate, generally following their food, and they pass through the tropics as their food does.”
Though orcas are commonly known as “killer whales,” Tibbet says there are no documented attacks of humans from orcas in the wild anywhere.
He said that the creatures have a curious and intelligent nature and are known to investigate: “orcas are very curious; it’s not uncommon if they show up where there are boats, they’ll come around, they’ll check out the boats, they’ll swim underneath the boats, they’ll surface next to the boat.”
The orcas swimming closely to the boat posed no threat to the animals or the individuals in the boat.
Destiny Cruz, PNC News First.