This thrilling footage of orca whales coordinating a seal hunt in Antarctica exhibits the collaboration these animals rely on to maximize their potential to capture prey in the harsh conditions of Antarctica. Orcas have been spotted more regularly in the Arctic waters this past decade and are increasingly hunting those waters with more ice – free days. The Hudson Bay waters around Churchill have been frequented by orcas within the last few years. It will be interesting to see how these animals interact with polar bears as they compete for prey during the ice free or even semi ice – free seasons.
In guiding 10 years of exciting Churchill Arctic Summer adventures in Churchill, there was only one year that we had orca or killer whales appear in the Hudson Bay. Unfortunately, we were not out on the water for the brief encounter and had to be satisfied, or more aptly phrased, frustrated and dismayed to see the incredible photos later on.
Orca’s in the Hudson Bay. Dwight Allen photo.
It seems that with the global warming discussion there have been some noticeable environmental changes that the politicians and analysts don’t see from such a personal perspective. Orca whales have been surfacing more routinely in the Arctic waters of the Hudson Bay and people have been able to document their presence. The shift in territorial presence perhaps is a sign that the weather patterns are changing and new species are able to adapt to a new region more easily. Traditionally, killer whales have had a hard time infiltrating the ice – packed Arctic waters due to their large dorsal fin. As ice is receding and lasting shorter periods in the north, orcas are broadening their range and becoming even more of a predator of seals and other Arctic whales like belugas and narwhals. It is pretty impressive to see these beautiful creatures in the wild.