KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Researchers say they are ecstatic after finding and tagging a group of rare killer whales in Hawaiian waters.
The whales were spotted about 100 miles off the Kona over the weekend. At one point, a total of seven killer whales were seen feeding on a Thresher Shark, researchers say.
A biologist armed with an air rifle managed to tag three of the whales, and now for the first time ever, the movement of these rare creatures around Hawaii is being tracked.
"I don't think you've seen five biologists happier than that day. We've been waiting for this opportunity for years," said Robin Baird of Cascadia Research Collective. "With killer whales, we really have no idea what they're doing in Hawaiian waters because we see them so infrequently."
Late Monday, the tracking beacons showed the whales were headed north off the Kona coast.
There are only about 350 killer whales in Hawaii waters, and they are much smaller than those found in the Pacific Northwest.