Scientists Report Orcas Killing 17 Sharks in South Africa

By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, February 28, 2023 @ 06:00 AM (EST)
Supply: Newsweek

Researchers observing killer whales looking close to Gansbaai in South Africa have recorded 17 lifeless sharks after a single killing spree. The pair of perpetrators—who’re recognized to scientists and have been given the names “Port” and “Starboard”—are infamous for attacking sharks within the space, however that is the biggest kill in a single sitting.

Writing on the Marine Dynamics Facebook page, marine biologist and information Ralph Watson is quoted as saying, “We noticed the 2 orcas repeatedly diving down in a small space for nearly two hours earlier than they departed offshore.” A number of days later, Watson and his workforce from the Marine Dynamics Academy retrieved 11 broadnose sevengill shark carcasses from the identical seaside, with extra following over the following days.

Main the analysis on orcas preying on sharks in Gansbaai is Alison Towner, a PhD candidate at Rhodes College. “Every sevengill shark was torn open and lacking its liver,” stated Towner, who joined Watson to carry out necropsies on the animals. “They have been all females measuring between 1.6–2.3 meters [approx. 5–7 feet] and had related accidents to these killed in False Bay [northwest of Gansbaai] by the identical orca pair.”

What’s extra, the orcas within the space don’t solely have a style for sevengill shark livers. Since 2017, scientists have recorded eight nice white shark carcasses washed up on seashores close to Gansbaai. The sharks had orca tooth impressions on their pectoral fins. Seven of the good whites had their livers eliminated—and a few even had their hearts lacking.

Gansbaai is taken into account a terrific white hotspot, and there are quite a few cage-diving operations within the space, however researchers have documented fewer sightings of the sharks because the arrival of the bloodthirsty pair of orcas. It appears Port and Starboard’s killing spree is way from over.