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Eight orcas feed on sea lion near O.C. coast

June 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Whale watchers got a treat off the coast of Orange County on Wednesday where several orcas were spotted, giving people a chance to see how they live in the wild up close. It was quite the show for people who were fortunate enough to witness a rare sight of eight killer whales swimming less than five miles off the coast of Orange County.

The orcas captivated more than 100 people aboard whale watching boats. It was the first time in two years that locals have seen killer whales off the coast near Dana Point.

"They were slapping their fins and rolling around and making all kinds of noises. They were very vocal, it was amazing," said Sheri Hockmeyer from Dana Point.

Then unexpectedly, the killer whales started feasting on what appeared to be an adult sea lion.

The spectators witnessed what Captain Larry Hartmann had never seen before until now. Hartmann has been spending time on boats since he was a boy.

"It was pretty awe-inspiring, amazing actually. They might have been teaching their young how to eat it. They would push it up from below water and that's when we got a chance to see it finally," said Hartmann.

"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, this is kind of gory,' then you could actually smell it as well, very foul fishy smell. It's a part of life though, it's nature," said Hockmeyer.

After a couple of hours the show ended, leaving lasting images for those fortunate enough to witness this act of nature.

"I'm so lucky and blessed to be able to see this," said Hockmeyer.

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