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Spectators in awe as killer whale surfaces in Victoria

A photograph captured the moment a Bigg's killer whale checked out some people at Ogden Point Breakwater.

People in Victoria were in the right spot at the right time to see a spy-hopping orca — and a photographer luckily captured the moment on camera. 

Captain Mark Malleson was conducting a tour with Prince of Whales Whale Watching out of Victoria on Sunday afternoon when Bigg’s killer whales were spotted near Ogden Point Breakwater. 

“We watched them head over and there was a lot of people on the breakwater,” says Malleson. “The [killer whales] were cruising along the kelp line."

Around 2 p.m. that day — also World Whale Day — a whale named Lynx decided to check out the nearby crowd.

“He did a spy hop and he might have seen the people up above,” says Malleson.

The captain took out his camera and captured the raw emotion of those standing across from him. 

“It was neat seeing the reaction of the people,” he says. “A couple of them are quite surprised because they had no idea there were killer whales right at their feet.” 

In the photograph, a woman dressed in a grey sweater has her hand raised in the air and appears to be shouting. The man beside her, dressed in all black, is pointing right at Lynx and a woman above them can be seen smiling at the whale. 

“It was amazing watching the people,” says Malleson. 

Some people in the area also ran to try and catch a glimpse of the whale. 

Malleson has been guiding for 28 seasons and says it's great to see people having these mammal encounters. 

“We didn’t see them 20 years ago much and now it’s becoming quite common that they’re coming into these public areas close to shore and the harbour,” he tells Glacier Media. 

Pacific Whale Watch Association executive director Erin Gless shared the photograph with Glacier Media saying it would be great to find the people in the picture. 

If you are one of the individuals in the photograph, you can contact us at akelly@glaciermedia.ca.