Family Gets Caught Between a Pod of Hungry Orcas and Terrified Seals

A family whale-watching trip gets intense when the vessel cruises between five killer whales and their lunch.

Kristina Bravo is a Los Angeles–based writer. She is an Assistant Editor at TakePart.

When it comes to close (and safe) encounters with wildlife, a few folks are just lucky to be in the right place at the right time. For the rest of us, there are videos like this: On a boat trip off the western Canadian coast, a family got up close and personal with a pod of orcas chasing a group of sea lions.

Travis Twizell captured the video while humpback whale–watching with his wife and two children in British Columbia. The family first spotted four sea lions swimming near their boat and then realized that five hungry killer whales—three grown females and two calves—were hot on their trail.

“When we saw the killer whales, we were like—‘Holy cow, they are hunting them!’ ” Twizell told Global News. “We were not sure if the sea lions were going to jump into the boat, because the killer whales followed them over,” he added, presuming that the poor guys rushed to the boat to elude the predators.

All but one of the seals safely made it to shore. “You could see the three big whales backed off, and the two small orcas started to hit against it and take it down,” said Twizell of one seal. “You could tell at that point it was a total hunting training exercise for those babies.”

It’s been a wild month for marine mammal sightings in Canada. Just last week, a few aquatic search and rescue volunteers caught an amazing show when about 150 dolphins surrounded their boat in West Vancouver. In another incident, a group of B.C. locals captured a shot of orcas swimming after a school of dolphins.

None of them needed to buy a theme park ticket. 

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