A group of friends who went out in the Gulf of Mexico hoping to catch some tuna stumbled upon an extremely rare sight: a pod of orcas.
CBS New Orleans affiliate WWL reports the group was fishing 50 miles south of South Pass, Louisiana when they spotted the killer whales not far from their boat. Easy to spot given their iconic black and white coloring, orcas usually hunt in large groups. The boaters captured video of the orcas swimming through the gulf and posted it on Instagram.
The sighting is significant because orcas are most common in the Arctic and Antarctic and often spotted off the west coast of the U.S. and Canada -- far from the Gulf of Mexico. Orcas tend to roam in cold waters, not warm coastal areas.
The unusual sighting could be a warning sign of a deeper environmental problem, Moby Solangi, executive director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in nearby Gulfport, Mississippi, told WWL. Armed with GPS coordinates provided by the group of friends, the Institute plans to investigate the orca sighting further, he said.
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