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Seal Seeks Refuge on Boat in Bid to Escape Pod of Orcas

Quick-thinking seal ingeniously outsmarts a pod of hungry orcas by hitching a ride on a whale watching boat.

A whale watching boat working the waters off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, had an unexpected guest climb on board recently – and it failed to buy a ticket. Nick Templeman, who operates Campbell River Whale and Bear Excursions, was out with a group in his boat when he stopped at a spot that was likely to hold orcas. Little did he know the unexpected was about to happen.

As the group watched a pod of orcas for 30 minutes or so, Templeman observed a change in their behavior. They were now in pure hunting mode. It was then he discovered a seal desperately trying to climb on board – and finally reclining on the boat’s back swim grid after a bit of a struggle.

The killer whales circled the boat for 30 minutes before finally losing interest and swimming off – leaving one lucky, but very frightened seal, the chance to live another day.

“It was an amazing and intense encounter – the seal is the survivor,” Templeman said.

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Seal Seeks Refuge on Boat in Bid to Escape Pod of Orcas