The Pacific Whale Watch Association took the time to educate after a deer and orca were spotted swimming near each other in the Salish Sea.
The photo, credited to Sam Murphy and posted online by Island Adventures, showed a Bigg’s whale with a deer paddling away. It was taken near Battleship Island, a U.S. island east of Sidney Island.
Deer are strong swimmers and known to swim island to island, the association noted, pointing out that orcas around the world enjoy different diets. They’ll eat fish, sharks penguins and more, and the Bigg’s in the image feeds on marine mammals such seals, sea lions and porpoises – putting the deer at risk, the association said.
By all accounts – and lucky for the deer – it appears the orca, identified as T124C and called Cooper, wasn’t in the mood for venison.
Spot the deer🦌 Bigg’s killer whale T124C “Cooper” encountered a black-tailed deer yesterday near Battleship Island!— Island Adventures (@sanjuanwhales) June 5, 2023
📷 PC: Naturalist Sam Murphy #islandadventures #orca #deer #whalewatch #salishsea pic.twitter.com/UXVcoyj9is