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Killer Whales in Hawaii

Want to hear a crazy story? One time back in the early 2000s, on a Holo Holo boat tour, our captain, crew and guests watched a family of five killer whales attack, kill, and eat a juvenile humpback whale.

True story! That’s why they call them killers.

You never know what you’re going to see on one of our Kauai boat tours– it’s a wild world out there.

That said, chances of us seeing killer whales are pretty slim honestly—there’s no evidence of a resident population in Hawaii, they just sometimes happen to be passing through.

Killer whales are also called orca whales and you can’t miss them. Think Free Willy! With their smooth black back, white chest and sides, white patches behind the eyes, stocky bodies, and large dorsal fins, orcas are very distinctive and unlikely to be confused with anything else.

Orcas, killers, whatever you want to call them—they’re not really whales at all, but the largest species of the dolphin family.

And get this—humans and orcas are the two most widely distributed mammals on Earth! Yep, they thrive in every one of the world’s oceans, from the frigid Arctic to the hot tropics. They’re versatile predators and live at the pinnacle of the marine food chain.

Blackfish is a 2013 documentary that tells the story of Tilikum, a killer whale kept in captivity by SeaWorld. It’s heartbreaking, but we recommend it.

Come out on tour with us! Who knows—maybe it will be our lucky day and we’ll get to see some of these beauties out in the wild, where they belong.