Transient orca pod frolics off Liberty Bay

POULSBO, Wash. - An orca pod was spotted Thursday afternoon playing in Liberty Bay, near Poulsbo.

Orca Network believes the orca are part of a transient pod travelling through the area to feed.

Approximately 17 orcas were counted near Saratoga Passage a few days ago, Orca Network said. The group split up and these six are believed to be part of the transient pod.

Transient whales are distinguished from resident whales as they travel as far north as the Artic Ocean, according to the Associated Press.

The out-of-town whales prey on warm-blooded creatures such as harbor seals and sea lions, setting them apart from native Pacific Northwest whales.

Marine researchers want to declare the transient whales as their own species, and name them after Michael Biggs, a researcher whose observations led to the initial identification of the whales.