Wild photos of killer whales doing what they do - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Wild photos of killer whales doing what they do

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Experts are calling it an extraordinary sight – a pod of killer whales was spotted off the coast of Tijuana this week, attacking a dolphin. It was all caught on camera.

Calling it an experience of a lifetime, Carlos Bravo took the pictures Tuesday morning in Las Playas de Tijuana after his friend, a local lifeguard, called saying he needed to see it.

"I just grabbed my camera. In five minutes I was there," he said.

The photos show a pod of killer whales. Initially, it looks as though they're playing with a bottlenose dolphin, when in fact they're attacking it.

"You can see that the killer whales grabbed a dolphin by the fin and started to bite," Carlos said.

According to Bravo the dolphin was killed as dozens of onlookers watched. Many of them shot video of the incident.

But it's not the attack that's unique. It's the fact it happened just 300 feet from shore. According to people there, orcas haven't been spotted in the area since the 1960s.

"They say that this is very, very unusual. It is rare," Carlos said.

So rare, a researcher based in Orange County has requested Carlos' pictures. We spoke to Alisa Schulman-Janiger by phone. She explained why the sighting is unusual.

"To have them come all the way into breakers particular where people are, I've only heard of that happening a couple times ever," Schulman-Janiger said.

Shulman-Janiger hopes to learn more about where the whales came from, saying this has been an extraordinary year.

"We've had very unusual sightings of animals you particularly find south of this area," she said.

The researcher tells CBS News 8 it could be the whales got close simply to find a source of food, but again, that close is very unique.

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