Watch these videos to see humpbacks aren’t the only whales to spot in Hawaii
Hawaii is wading in an early humpback whale season and, yes, we’re quite excited about this. However, there are other species of these marine mammals breaching the surface to wave aloha.
In the past two months, we’ve also witnessed pods of other magnificent mammals. About six weeks ago, a tour company owned by wildlife biologists happened upon a rare sight off West Oahu: a pod of false killer whales. What’s incredible about this pod in particular is that while you can find false killer whales swimming about in other tropical waters across the world’s oceans, the 150–200 spotted around the Hawaiian Islands are considered to be “insular,” meaning genetically they’re distinct to this specific population as they don’t migrate to other areas of the Pacific.
In extreme close-up footage of the expedition’s encounter, you can hear the pod vocalizing loud and clear; one of the whales even appeared to smile wide for the camera.
In the company’s description of the video, they offer some explanation and background on how they were able to navigate alongside the false killer whales, a protected endangered species, in order to keep them out of physical danger from the boat.
About two weeks ago, just before Halloween, fisherman Keoki Davis caught another rare occurance: a pod of three orcas off Oahu’s Makaha coastline. Orcas have been seen here, but according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there are no known resident populations which makes this footage quite spectacular.
In footage aired by KITV4, you can see one of the three swim above the surface at around 37-seconds:
NOAA’s records only account for two other recent orca sightings: off Kauai in 2008 and Lanai in 2004.