Orcas massage themselves in shallow waters

Orcas massage themselves in shallow waters

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Onlookers got an unexpected treat when a pod of about eight orcas swam into the shallow waters of the Powell River in British Columbia, Canada and started using pebbles on the river bed to scratch themselves.

A pod of about 5 came very close inshore off the east coast of Unst, Shetland Islands, probably scratching themselves on the rocks.

They exhibited no signs of having been beached. Instead, they swam around and frolicked amongst themselves. "You can even see some of he bigger orcas swimming alongside the calves as if they're showing them what to do," said an employee of a nearby business.

Although unusual, this behaviour was normal.

Dr Ingrid Visser from Orca Research Trust New Zealand said, "People worry the orcas could strand but it's clear to see some of them here sat on the seabed massaging themselves. There are a few places where we see orcas come so shallow, but British Columbia is certainly the most prolific. It's important for onlookers to remember to not disturb them and get too close."


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