John Dornellas, 37, says the mammal frantically swam towards his boat in a seemingly unlikely effort to evade the orca’s clutches. Then, in a cunning ploy to avoid being eaten in Alaska’s Halibut Cove Lagoon, the quick-thinking otter hops on board.
The otter is told: ’Come on up, bud’, as he sits next to the engine, before the camera pans to a huge killer whale just metres away. But amazed onlookers fear the whale may have got away with an otter pup.
Posting the footage on Instagram, Mr Dornellas wrote: ‘What an unreal experience. We took the engines out of gear about two hundred yards off and watched an otter come swimming full speed at my boat, the orca chasing behind. I have to say, this is not how I imagined how my morning would start.’
Video shows the otter having a scratch and shaking water off him, as his would-be killer surfaces and blows air out, before going back under.
‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh,’ says the watching man, stunned by the remarkable scene, which was posted on Monday, July 27.
The man tells his unexpected visitor in a soothing voice: ‘Hey, I’m not gonna hurt you, I’m not gonna hurt you, you’re good.
‘You can chill up here as long as you need.’
But the otter may have had a far less cheerful ending than first thought.
Another captain who filmed the encounter from her nearby vessel, Chantrelle Major, explained: ‘I believe the orca had an otter pup in its mouth, so I’m guessing that’s why the otter kept getting back into the water, but eventually it climbed aboard, refusing to leave.
‘After days on end running the boat for 14 hours a day, I was tired and feeling a bit low, but this ‘wink’ from God powered me right back up and made the rest of the day easy.
‘Nothing I could plan for or do could possibly arrange this encounter, so I was left feeling humble and grateful’, Mail Online reported.
This article was first published by Metro News on 29 July 2020. Lead Image: The quick-thinking otter hopped on board, outsmarting the orca (Picture: @ibreathewater).
What you can do
Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.