NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Whale watchers in Southern California were treated to a rare sighting of Eastern Tropical Pacific killer whales.
Dale Frink, a photographer and naturalist who runs a whale-watching cruise, says the five orcas, including a small calf, were seen near Point Vicente on Saturday.
He says the Eastern Tropical Pacific orcas, identified by a darker saddle area behind the dorsal fin, make only rare appearances in Orange County waters. They're more common off San Diego and south to Peru.
California Killer Whale Project researcher Alisa Schulman-Janiger tells the Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/2i5Mrkw) that it was her first time seeing the rare type of orca in 35 years of research.
Frink says the boat followed the pod for about a half hour.