Scared seal hides on boat from killer whales

seal jumps on boat to avoid orca whales

Story highlights

  • Vancouver Island is a known destination for whale sightseeing trips
  • One group got a surprise when a seal jumped onto the back of their boat

(CNN)A seal narrowly escaped being eaten by some hungry killer whales on Monday.

The mammal jumped onto the back of a tour boat to escape the swarming pod of orcas.
    Nick Templeman, who runs Campbell River Whale and Bear Excursions, captured the moments after the seal took refuge on the boat.
    "Once he got a look at the boat, he made a straight beeline for us," Templeman said.
    As if a seal jumping on your tour boat wasn't exciting enough, things got even more interesting for this sightseeing group. About a dozen orcas started circling the boat trying to find their prey.
    "We had four or five orcas all at once sitting at the back of the boat straight up and down sort of looking at the seal," said Templeman. "They would dive and they would all disappear -- about 12 of them -- and you can see shape after shape trying to come up from under the boat."
    The tour group was boating off the coast of Vancouver Island, which is off Canada's Pacific Coast. This area is known for it's vast whale watching adventures.
    "The seal did get scared during the encounter," said Templeman. "He would get in the water, swim back up and get back on the boat."
    Templeman, who has been whale watching for 20 years, said he hasn't seen an orca hunt this extreme.
    "This was not one family group but three or four family groups."
    After about 30 minutes, the whales gave up and moved on.
    "The seal took a few minutes, went into the water, hesitated around the engines and then left," said Templeman.