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SPOTTED: Rare Pod of Orcas off the Coast of California

A group of 10 orcas has been spotted leaping in the air and frolicking in the seas off the southern coast of California. Much to the surprise of marine biologists, the pod has been spotted several times along the coastline between Oxnard, a beach town, and the city of San Diego.

This video, shared by Newport Whales shows the orcas swimming close to a whale watching boat. Captain Mike Owens described it as the “find of the year”.

These orcas have been seen in California occasionally in the summer months, but this pod has been spotted several times lately on this stretch of coastline in late December, and they seem to be sticking around.

Newport Coastal Adventure, another whale watching company, was ecstatic to see the visiting orcas. “Killer Whale madness again today off Laguna Beach! What other words can we say, besides that this amount of activity is just unprecedented!! They seem to have found a new hunting ground and it’s no telling how long they might stay at this point,” Newport Coastal Adventure shared on Instagram.

This population of orcas, known as Eastern Tropical Pacific orcas (ETPs) usually swim in Mexico and South America. Some experts believe the warmer-than-average temperature may have attracted this pod to California. It could also be the healthy populations of dolphins, their favorite choice of prey. 

The orcas are happy to swim right up to the boats and enjoy performing for audiences of onlookers.

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