Pacific white-sided dolphins take flight to evade killer whales

By: Chris Mauro, Monday, June 25, 2012 5:22pm PDT

Pacific white-sided dolphins are known for seeking safety in numbers, and in the accompanying video captured up in Hyacinthe Bay, British Columbia, hundreds can be seen racing out of the bay to evade a few hungry killer whales giving chase. The whales do their best to trap these clever dolphins into the small coves found all over Vancouver Island, which is what’s happening right when this clip begins. The clip begins with the dolphins sensing nearby danger, and making a stunning sprint for more open ocean. But some of the slower stragglers get cornered in rocky inlet, and are forced to retreat back into the bay to escape.

White-sided dolphins were actually a rare sight in British Columbia during the 18th and 19th centuries, but they started returning in droves throughout the 1980s. Today there are tens of thousands in the area. According to scientists, their long absence was related to either a change in ocean temperatures or a shift in their prey distribution.
It took a few years for the killer whales to figure out how to trap these clever creatures. Eventually the Orcas mastered the technique of luring them into inlets, turning picturesque coves into literal dead-ends. However, locals say the dolphins have already adapted to this ploy, and have since become better at evading their predators. This video will no doubt be studied to validate if that theory is correct.

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