A rare sight was caught on tape by a Vancouver man boating near Bowyer Island, north of Horseshoe Bay.
While out on a joy ride Tuesday afternoon, Elliot Funt says he saw a pod of at least six orca whales swimming between boats and chasing an adult sea lion.
The video shows the orca whales resurfacing for air multiple times in very close proximity to the boats and then diving under to catch the sea lion.
Funt says although he is an avid boater and has seen orcas many times before in the area, he has never witnessed the whales chasing another animal.
“It doesn’t happen every day that you see something like that,” Funt told Global News. “It was very exhilarating.”
The sea lion, which appeared to be injured, eventually hopped on a boat next to Funt’s, trying to seek refuge.
That boater then motored back to the island to give the animal a chance to escape.
Funt posted the video of the rare encounter on Facebook, where it generated hundreds of comments and thousands of re-shares.
Funt says he hopes the popularity of the video will shed light on the changes potentially facing Howe Sound, with a liquefied natural gas processing plant and increased tanker traffic coming into the area.
“It means these very whales may not even be here soon,” he said.