LA SALINA, Mexico (KGTV) — Whale watchers enjoyed a close encounter with a pod of killer whales as they swam near their boat and playfully chased them off the coast of Northwest Mexico last week.
The majestic turn of events happened on Tuesday, August 31 near La Salina, Baja California.
The video taken by Gone Whale Watching shows four Eastern Tropical Pacific Orcas being seemingly curious and playful with the vessel along the coast. Two of the Orcas from this pod were in a group that swam into La Jolla Cove in San Diego in 2018.
According to the whale watching company, the group of killer whales is known to be extremely boat-friendly. They also swim up near Southern California around the first week of September every year.
During the encounter, the whale watchers learned the killer whales were actually hunting a common dolphin, which explains all of the water breachings. They reportedly toyed with the dolphin for nearly 90 minutes before finally completing the kill and sharing in a meal.
Captain Domenic Biagini, of Gone Whale Watching, says they did not harass the Orcas and they abided by legal rules, despite any bad information that is being spread to the public.
"The United States' Marine Mammal Protection Act law states we simply can not 'harass' dolphins and whales," Biagini shared in a post on Facebook the following day.
"This specific pod is famous for playing with boats, and specifically for 'stern-wake riding' as you see pictured here. Abruptly stopping the boat and killing the motors would actually be substantially more dangerous to the whales in a situation like this than continuing at the same speed and heading because the boat suddenly stopping is not what the whales are anticipating the boat will do. Again the whales are 'play chasing' us, not the other way around," the company's Facebook post read.