Whales Hunt Whales Near Golden Gate Bridge

By Matt Baume
|  Thursday, Feb 10, 2011  |  Updated 8:15 AM PDT
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Whales Hunt Whales Near Golden Gate Bridge

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Killer whales are living up to their name near the Golden Gate Bridge, according to the Ex, with several exhibiting behavior that suggests they're on the prowl for fresh meat.

It's rare for orcas to swim so close to the city. They tend to stick to colder northern waters.

Gray whales, particularly their babies, are vulnerable to attack when they migrate.

Although orcas are technically dolphins, not whales, there's a gruesome element of bloodthirstiness to the thought of marine mammals hunting each other for food.

Or perhaps they're simply chasing salmon. Researchers found that salmon counts were up significantly this year, following several years of sharp decline. Although the salmon population in the Sacramento River is still lower than it should be, the orcas might have noticed a more plentiful supply of food than was previously available.

In time, higher salmon populations could lead to higher populations of other threatened species. The state will decide in a few months whether to open the fishing season this year, and for how long.

The animals were spotted between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Farralons, a rocky outcropping known to be prime hunting ground for great white sharks.

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