NEWS

Orcas spotted off Vancouver's Jericho Beach

07/03/2012 12:25 EDT | Updated 09/02/2012 05:12 EDT
A pod of orca whales paid a rare visit to Vancouver on Monday, delighting some lucky boaters and beachgoers.

About six orcas were first spotted off Stanley Park heading west toward Jericho Beach.

Lorena Sanchez-Mejrada spotted some of them from Jericho Beach around 1:30 p.m. PT.

"It was incredible," said Sanchez-Mejrada. "There were four orcas! There were two big whales and two little whales. Super cool.

"And then they started making their way all around inside the five-knot can, so they were super close to shore," she said.

Kayak students Lisa Bechard and Jack Belleghem also spotted the pod.

"It was amazing, it was incredible, and our kayak instructor said he's been doing this for six years and he has never seen orcas, so today, he said, was pretty remarkable," said Bechard.

According to reports, experts think the whales may be part of T49 pod, a family of transient killer whales that may have been hunting harbour seals in the area.

In recent years, whales have been spotted around Vancouver with increasing regularity.

In May 2011, a pod of orcas were spotted briefly in Burrard Inlet on the north side of Stanley Park after they swam under the Lions Gate Bridge.

And in May 2010, a grey whale swam into Vancouver's False Creek and stayed for a number of days in the area before departing.

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