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Pod of ‘crazy’ killer whales attacking both with seemingly ‘orchestrated’ behavior, scary sailors and astonishing scientists



Since the end of July, sailors have reported several encounters with orcas in the Strait of Gibraltar, tipping a boat sideways and spinning others in circles, leaving them helpless.

There is some speculation that these attacks appeared orchestrated, but scientists do not know for sure – and the orchestras have not yet made any statements.

However, researchers may agree on one thing: something is wrong.


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“For killer whales to take a piece of a fiberglass tube is crazy,” says Rocío Espada, who works with the Marine Biology Laboratory at the University of Seville, told the observer. “I’ve seen these killer whales grow from babies, I know their life stories, I’ve never seen or heard of attacks.”

Observer reports that it is not uncommon for the very social and curious animals to follow or even interact with boats. But experts say it is unnatural for orcas to become aggressive, and it is unlikely, though not impossible, that orcas had deliberate attacks.

A crew member told The Observer that an incident in July felt like a “totally orchestrated” attack.

Killer whales, the largest species of dolphin, are sometimes called “toothed whales”. Think squares and rectangles: all squares (dolphins) are rectangles (whales), but not all rectangles are squares. Commonly called “orcas”, orcas are generally about 23 to 32 feet long and can weigh up to 6 tons according to national geography. Carnivores that travel in pods live an average of 50 to 80 years in the wild and are considered to have a low risk of extinction, categorized as “least worrying.”


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But orcas are still caught by whalers in some regions and sold for consumption or captivity, while others are caught in fishing nets and gear. In areas with high boat traffic, toxic waste, increased underwater noise pollution and a higher risk of collisions are all threats to these marine mammals.

After the coronavirus pandemic, nationwide lockdowns and limited economic activity hit a temporary standstill – and some assume that orcas are just “cursed” that humans are back in their waters.

“If we’re talking about whether orcas have it at all and the cognitive ability to deliberately hit someone or be angry or really know what they’re doing, I have to say the answer is yes. They are probably defending a territory or resources, ”Lori Marino, neuroscientist and president of the Whale Sanctuary Project, told the Observer.


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