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Thank goodness it's Fun Fact Friday!
We are taking a break from telling you about the different ecotypes to share this amazing video. Instead, let this video transport you to a seaside view of a rarely seen amazing behavior by Northern Resident Orcas!
Ever had an itch you couldn't quite reach? Not a problem for these Northern Resident Orcas! These whales frequently use "rubbing beaches", which are beaches that have a shallow area with smooth rocks and pebbles, to come in very close to shore and skim their bodies across the smooth pebbles.
The behavior and the beaches used appear to be a strong cultural tradition for these orcas. Maybe they use the beach to slough off dead skin, or the practice may be purely social.
This remarkable footage has recently come to light and it's of WDC adoptable orca, Holly! In the video, she and her family are seen rubbing at a different beach further south from the famous Robson Bight area. The big male that comes in very close to shore and appears to nearly ‘beach’ himself is Surf, Holly’s son, who was born in 1996.
Note: The video and its commentary are solely the reflection of the videographer, not WDC. The exact location is not disclosed, as orcas are vulnerable to disturbances both at sea and from land, but the behavior has been well documented in the Johnstone Strait, off Vancouver Island.