Southern California isn’t just the place to be for beach bums, surfers and aspiring movie stars any more – it is also the new cool hangout for whales. December was a record month for gray whales spotted off the Southern California coast, and now a group of killer whales have been hanging out in the Redondo Beach area.
Typically the only whales that are spotted that far down south in California are gray and humpback whales, so the recent sighting of a couple of families of killer whales in the area has caused quite the stir.
“Ahh, a 25!!” (laughs),” biologist Alisa Shulman-Janiger told CBS News when asked how excited she was on a scale of 1 to 10. “Eye to eye with the top predator in the ocean? It sort of gives me a chill down my spine. It’s incredible.”
There are two theories as to why the whales are hanging out so far down south: a La Nina weather episode has caused the waters to be cooler than normal in the area, and the ever-increasing California sea lion population, which the killer whales feed on.
“What they may have done is come down sort of for a family vacation, found the pickings are easy, the restaurants are open, and then brought some friends with them,” Shulman-Janiger explains.