VIDEO: Dolphins befriend killer whale off B.C. coast

Resident southern killer whales don’t naturally hunt dolphins

A group of dolphins has struck up an unlikely friendship with killer whales off the B.C. coast, footage from OceanWise released Monday shows.

Researchers from OceanWise captured the footage of Pacific white-sided dolphins interacting with resident killer whales last summer, and although they’re not sure why, they have a few ideas.

Dolphins are prey for transient (mammal eating) killer whales, but they aren’t part of the food chain for the fish-eating resident killer whales, said Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, senior scientist and director of the Marine Mammal Research Program at the Coastal Ocean Research Institute.

VIDEO: Dolphins put on a show for BC Ferries customers

“What’s in it for the dolphins? It could be safety, for one thing,” said Barrett-Lennard.

“A white-sided dolphin travelling with resident killer whales isn’t going to be hunted by transients because the [different species of killer whales] avoid each other, so this dolphin doesn’t have a care in the world.”

The dolphins could also be checking out predators, Barrett-Lennard said, to be better prepared to face them later on.

“By spending time around killer whales they are learning more about them, about their speed and agility in the water, so it could help them avoid predation by other killer whales in the future,” he said.

READ MORE: New orca calf in Salish Sea ‘healthy and active’


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Campbell River puts out call for stewardship award nominations

It’s time to recognize the efforts and achievements of people working to… Continue reading

16-year-old Campbell River athlete heading to Cairo for volleyball championship

Emoni Bush of Wei Wai Kum First Nation to compete with Youth National Team

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Exhibit showcases work of veteran taxidermist on Cortes Island

Dozens of mounted animals on display at Wild Cortes

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read