A 15-year-old transient orca whale was spotted in the Inner Harbour around 10 a.m. Friday morning (File contributed/ Jackie Cowan, Earth Ocean Adventures)

Orca spotted in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Shortly after 10 a.m. a transient whale was seen coming through the waterway

Traffic came to a standstill Friday morning in Victoria’s Inner Harbour when an orca was spotted in the waterway.

Capt. Jackie Cowan, owner of local whale watching and marine adventure company, Ocean Earth Adventures, was on her ship in the Wharf Street marina when her friend spotted the whale, prompting her to grab her camera and get a couple shots.

“He came in along the shoreline by Laurel Point, then headed towards the causeway before turning around and going the way he came,” she said.

ALSO READ: Three southern resident killer whales declared dead plunging population to 73

The whale has been identified by two experts as TO65A2, a transient orca male born in 2004. TO65A2 is also known as Ooxjaa, which means “windy” in the Tlingit language.

Marty Goliath, a local whale watching captain said he’d seen the whale recently in Cowichan Bay.

Cowan said she had a suspicion she’d see whales in the harbour soon, after seeing especially low tides. Around the same time last year a pod of orcas was spotted in the Inner Harbour when waters were also low, she said.

VIDEO: Rare orca sighting at Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Josh McInnes, a marine mammal scientist and research coordinator with the Transient Killer Whale Project by Marine Life Studies, said the visit probably has more to do with the season than the water levels.

“All of the harbour seals, which are transient whales’ main prey, are having their pups right now so we usually see a huge spike in transient sightings,” McInnes said. “It’s not uncommon to see, there’s been a few occurrences of transients coming into the Inner Harbour.”

McInnes said that once the transient whale has hunted in an area it heads elsewhere pretty quickly.

“Transients are real roamers, being a top predator they don’t stay in one area too long because harbour seals will know they’re in the area,” McInnes said.

Transient orcas can travel more than 100 km in a day, and spend up to 90 per cent of their time foraging and traveling.

TO65A2 is the second calf of matriarch TO65, who has given birth to six surviving orcas.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Sixty Sooke homes needed to host Japanese students

Homestay program offers visitors a taste of life in Canada

One-man Frankenstein show coming to Craigdarroch Castle

The Halloween special will kick off at the beginning of October

Backyard burning allowed in Sooke after Oct. 1

It’s important to know the rules

Tour de Rock kicks off on Saturday morning

The 22nd annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock ride will take two weeks to complete

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

SOOKE HISTORY: Remembering Sooke’s 1953 soccer team

Elida Peers | Contributed When Milne’s Landing High School opened in 1946,… Continue reading

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Sixty Sooke homes needed to host Japanese students

Homestay program offers visitors a taste of life in Canada

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Most Read