An ambitious seal gave a bunch of Canadian whale watchers way more than they bargained for when it scurried onto their boat to escape a pod of hungry whales.
The boaters were watching a group of killer whales off Vancouver’s coast when the wide-eyed little seal suddenly scrambled out of the water to everyone’s surprise, as seen in a YouTube video uploaded Monday.
As the group assessed the situation, an orca peered up at its missed morsel from just a few feet away.
“I’m sorry, guys! I can shove him off to ya?” one man says off camera, apparently talking to the hungry whales.
Someone else comes to the seal’s defense: “That guy deserves to live!”
Nick Templeman, the tour guide who was manning the boat, said the seal hopped onto the vessel following a long cat-and-mouse chase with the orcas.
“This seal was tossed around a few times and taken under quite a bit before seeking refuge among the boats in the area,” Templeman told CBC News. “He got close enough to see us and beelined for the boat.”
A GoPro camera stuck in the water indeed captured a couple of the determined whales as they prowled below the surface.
“The orcas kept sounding and coming up right behind the boat, searching,” Templeman said.
According to Kirk Fraser, who uploaded the YouTube video, the drama went on for about half an hour.
The seal “fell [off] three times in panic and finally stayed on until the whales gave up after about 30-45 minutes,” the video’s summary reads. “Most intense epic experience ever.”
It’s not clear what the boaters eventually did with the seal. But Templeman told CBC that “the seal is the survivor” ― suggesting the little guy lived to swim another day.