Information About Killer Whales in Los Angeles

Get Your Whale Watching Tour Tickets Online Today!

la whale watching

Southern California Killer (Orca) Whale Description

Killer whales are actually not whales at all but are instead the largest species of dolphin! Killer whales are very social and very smart. Killer whales can be spotted quite easily as they have a black back and a white patch slightly above and behind their eyes. Killer whales, in part, developed their names because they have been known to hunt whales for their food. From a physical perspective, a killer whale has a rather heavy and stocky body and a very large dorsal fin. Female killer whales are generally smaller than male killer whales. Females can reach about 16 to 23 feet and about 2-4 tons and males can reach about 19 to 26 feet and about 6 tons.

Killer whales are also very fast, mainly because of the killer whales size and its strength. They can reach speeds of about 40 miles per hour. The killer whale is very skilled predator. They are sometimes compared to wolves, because they hunt in pods like packs of wolves. And, they have quite an appetite as they can eat close to 500 lbs of food per day. Killer whales can live an average of about 35 to 40 years; females tend to survive longer than males. Killer whales have been known to survive for about 70 years. In captivity, a killer whale can only be expected to live less than 25 years.

Southern California Killer Whale Population

There is no real estimate for the world wide population of killer whales. Some estimates say that there are approximately 100,000 killer whales in the oceans. The large majority of the population exists in the Antarctic with approximately 75,000. The remainder of the population is located in the tropical Pacific and off the coast of Japan and Norway.

Southern California Killer Whale Feeding Habits

As mentioned above, Killer whales can eat up to about 500 lbs of food per day and their food choice is quite diverse. Killer whales in the Norwegian region tend to eat herring while killer whales in other areas will feast on seals. An interesting note with regard to a killer whales feeding habit is that sometime they seem to be particular. For instance, killer whales in the northeast have been known to feast on a certain type of fatty salmon while ignoring and swimming strait through schools of other salmon without attacking. Around the New Zealand area, killer whales have been observed attacking and eating the liver of a great white shark. They have also been known to eat stingrays, squid, sea turtles and over 30 varieties of other fish. In Southern California, Killer whales in groups have been known to attack and eat large whales such as the Minke Whale, the Gray Whale, Sperm Whale, and Blue Whales. When the Killer whales attack the larger whales, they typically chase them and wear them down over the course of a couple of hours. Mainly though, in California, the California Sea Lion is good cuisine for the Killer whale.

Southern California Killer Whale Migratory Patterns

Killer whales are found in all the oceans and most of the seas throughout the world and do not have large migratory patterns like other whales. For the most part, the Killer whale prefers the colder water climates. There is a large concentration of Killer whales in the Pacific Northwest in close proximity to Canada and Alaska. In the last several decades, Killer whales have been increasing their populations off the coast of California. The migration patterns of the Killer whales do have is not understood very well and is often times a subject of great debate. Killer whales have been known to migrate from Alaska to California. An interesting fact about Killer whales is that they have been seen traveling into fresh water rivers from time to time.

Los Angeles Whale Watching conducts whale and dolphin watching cruises seven days a week with tours at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.  It is a good idea to arrive early as these cruises do fill up quickly.  Tours usually last from two to two and a half hours.  Ticket prices are as follows:

Individual Ticket Prices – Two Hour to 2 ½ Hour Cruise
Adults $35
Seniors (62 and over) $30
Children (11 and under) $25
Children (2 and under) FREE!

Ticket Prices for groups of 25 or more.
Adults $25
Seniors (62 and over) $20
Children (11 and under) $15
Children (2 and under) FREE!

You can order your tickets online by clicking the button, Click Here or calling 424-242-0049.  If you have a discount coupon, please present it at the ticket booth.

We look forward to seeing you and continuing to make Los Angeles Whale Watching your choice for whale watching in southern California.  We offer convenient parking and are located near many area attractions such as The Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach Lighthouse and Queen Mary as well as excellent shopping and restaurant so you can make a day of it.  Whale watching is a wonderful experience regardless of age.  We can’t wait to provide the best whale watching in southern California experience possible.