The 250 orcas of the northern resident community often hang out north of Vancouver Island. Unlike most killer whales, these gentle giants eat fish: primarily chinook salmon. They have distinctive white bellies and eye patches, and can reach up to nine meters (29 feet) in length. Large groups often surface together, sometimes spy-hopping (poking their heads up) and breaching (arcing their bodies out of the water). Their most famous member, Corky, has been in captivity since 1969 and is currently held at SeaWorld San Diego.
By Amanda Castleman, AFAR Local Expert
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Hanson Island, Mount Waddington A, BC, Canada