New Pod of 'Enormous' Adult Orcas With Five 'Powerful Males' Discovered

A new pod of enormous adult orcas with five "powerful males" has been discovered off Bremer Bay in Western Australia.

The mature pod of about 11 to 13 whales, spotted on April 8, has never been documented before, Whale Watch Western Australia said in a statement.

The males traveling among them include three mature bulls and two "older sprouters." Male orcas can reach sizes of up to 26 feet and weigh 12,000 pounds or more.

The whale-watching company said the whales were "just beautiful" and moved through the "calm conditions" with ease, while in search of a meal.

"The size of these individuals was also impressive with the huge bodies of the males towering above the others and even the female's body condition was powerfully built as they all moved together strongly," the company said.

Orca pod Bremer Bay
The five males were giant, and "towered above" the others. Whale Watch Western Australia

Also within the pod was a "very unique female," the whale-watching company said.

The female had a "special dorsal fin" with the tip flattened, which will make the pod easily recognizable to researchers in the future.

Orcas usually spend their entire lives in the pod they were raised in. The female-led groups hunt together and share the load of raising the young. Male orcas may drift apart from the pod to mate. After this, they usually return to their birth pod.

Every summer, around 200 orcas visit Bremer Bay. The phenomenon is one of the largest gatherings of killer whales in the Southern Hemisphere. Because of this, the area has become a whale-watching hotspot from January to April.

Around 150 of the orcas are known to researchers, not including this new pod.

Whale Watch Western Australia said the new discovery is a "great example" of how important it is to complete data on the whales every season.

Orca pod Bremer Bay
The orca gather at the bay because of an abundance of prey in the area Whale Watch Western Australia

The orcas' recurring presence in the area remains largely a mystery, however, researchers suspect it is to do with a particular spot of the deep ocean near Bremer Canyon, which lies around 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the coastline.

Researchers believe that during the summer, currents from the Arctic drift into the canyon. The currents are salty and filled with nutrients, which in turn, attract an abundance of prey including deep-sea crabs, squids, and other creatures that killer whales feast on.

This area does not only attract orcas, but sharks, sperm whales and dolphins.

Researchers think that so many killer whales visit the area because food is hard to come by in other areas of the southern ocean during this time of year.

"Hopefully we will have the chance to see this family more regularly in future seasons as they were incredibly impressive," Whale Watch Western Australia said.

Orca pod Bremer Bay
The pod was made up of 11 to 13 whales. Whale Watch Western Australia