MISSION Bay, Calif. - New crystal-clear images show a killer whale swimming near Mission Bay. At one point, the orca swims up to a group of people on-board the Pirateer, a whale watching boat with San Diego Whale Watch.
It's the second killer whale sighting in San Diego waters in just 3 days. On Thursday, whale watchers snapped photos of an orca off the northern coast of Coronado Island. Marine experts believe the two sightings are of the same whale that also visited the area last summer.
"Certain markings, it's like a fingerprint identification, and it is without a doubt the same whale," said marine biologist Melissa Galieti. "It's very possible that this particular whale was an orphan because they stay with their families and mothers for their entire life."
(More images on mobile: http://bit.ly/11ESFmM)
Galieti told 10News the animal may have been adopted by a killer whale pod in Mexico, but for whatever reason, was taking a little break from them to chase dolphins near San Diego.
"Every time we see him he's been not too far from this pod of dolphins, so whether he is befriending them or if he's just sticking around to pick one up for a lunch snack, I don't know," added Galieti, chuckling.
The whale was dubbed "Myterious Mel" after Galieti, who was one of the first to spot the orca last summer. Galieti said Mysterious Mel stuck around San Diego for a month, but it's unclear how long he'll stay this year.
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