Six orcas identified off West SeattleOctober 9, 2012 @ 12:18 pm (Updated: 1:20 pm - 10/9/12 )
SEATTLE (AP) - More than a dozen killer whales swimming past West Seattle gave residents a spectacular sight Monday as the sun set.
Howard Garrett of the Orca Network says six identified from photos represent all three Puget Sound pods - J, K and L. He says this is the farthest south the orcas have been seen this year, and it may indicate a typical fall shift.
The orcas spent May-September around the San Juan Islands, apparently feeding off Fraser River Chinook. Garrett says this time of year they follow chum salmon south into Puget Sound.
The Greenbank-based Orca Network received hundreds of photos from Monday's sightings.
The southern resident orcas are listed as an endangered species, and the Center for Whale Research estimates a population of 85 in three pods.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.