Three months after tourism was halted in Bohol due to the COVID-19 crisis, locals have started to report sightings of killer whales in the waters of Garcia Hernandez town.
Pods of orcas have been spotted around the area since June 29, along with bottlenose and spinner dolphins, which are more commonly observed in the province.
After hearing of the news, a few netizens have taken to riding out into the sea to take videos and photos of the rare sight.
Bohol is known as a famous tourist destination for dolphin and whale watching. As per a Bohol travel guide website, its waters serve as one of the main migrations routes for marine life. However, sightings of these mammals have greatly decreased since the 1990s after rampant whale hunting, which was also soon banned in 1992.
So why exactly have these majestic creatures re-appeared in Bohol? We don’t know for sure, but Oceana Philippines supposes that it could possibly be due to the decrease of boat activity brought on by the lockdown.
“If you are lucky enough to be near marine mammals in the open water, please observe 'social distancing' from them! While these animals should not be feared, we should respect their own space,” they reminded locals in a Facebook post.