Center for Whale Research News
Joint media response concerning “the discovery of a new kind of killer whale” off western North America
On October 4th, Hakai Magazine published an article with a headline reporting the discovery of “a new kind of killer whale”. Other media outlets subsequently reported similar headlines in Canada, theUSA and internationally, and although some content has since been corrected in these articles, others continue to report false information.
The fact is that no new type of killer whale has been discovered and that many of the whales in question are part of the known Bigg’s (transient) killer whale population that prey on marine mammals. Their distribution patterns, social behaviours and population structure have been studied for over 30 years by several government and non-government research organizations in California, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska.