Orcas live in a matriarchal society. The dominant female leads a group comprised of her
sisters, daughters and other youngsters, but never couples. Reproduction only takes place between separate groups. The matriarch is very imposing over 20 feet long. I know orcas have never been known to attack humans. But what if she really is eyeing me for her next meal? The group moves off peacefully to the south of the island. David’s close encounter with the orca on land reminds him
of something that happened on this beach in 1988. Amateur footage of the drama seen around the world
showed an inexperienced orca becoming beached while hunting. But scientists were on hand to help it back into the water. The females release was a joy to behold for both the scientists and the workers. A very lucky escape. I wonder if the female I encountered along the
shore could be the same one the scientists saved. I felt threatened. But she may only have wanted to make contact. What do I really represent to these super predators? It’s a question that dogs me. This male seal knows only too well what he represents for the orcas. He recently barely escaped becoming a meal. Ironically, seals are more vulnerable on land than they are at sea. They dive to depths of over 4000 feet, far deeper than any orca. In the shallows, their thick layer of blubber offer a tempting feast of protein. No wonder orcas risk beaching in hunting this way. But even close to shore, the elephant seal is no pushover. A young Orca strays from the group and finds
itself face to face with a powerful opponent. The orca hazards a closer inspection. The seal holds its ground. No point in being too brave. It was a good lesson for the youngster. Next time it’ll stay with the group where there’s strength in numbers.