A pod of seven killer whales, including two calves, hunted a sea lion this afternoon right beside and under the Long Beach whale-watch catamaran The Christopher. The possibly ill sea lion had been drifting beside the boat when it bolted and the orcas appeared. The sea lion sought refuge in the boat's pontoons. The video is fine for the squeamish: it does not show any resolution to the drama. The footage of orcas is amazing for just two miles off Point Fermin — these whale watchers pretty much hit the jackpot. From Peter Thomas:
Transient killer whales prey almost exclusively on other marine mammals. This particular family unit includes a matriarch, her four offspring and two calves (grandkids) that are less than a year old.
Alisa Schulman-Janiger, a researcher who arrived at the Christopher after the sea lion had been corralled beneath the boat, said the orcas exhibited behavior that implied the adults were teaching the calves how to hunt. They exhibited frequent spy-hopping behavior, inspecting the scene above water.
Thomas emailed that one of the orcas was spotted here in 2010.
Also in the urban wildlife zone: Fish and Game agents chased a "lingering" black bear out of a backyard in Duarte this afternoon.