6 Orcas Identified Off West Seattle - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

6 Orcas Identified Off West Seattle

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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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