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Nature & Environment

Orcas are attacking boats and the phenomenon seems to be spreading

By T.K. Randall
June 27, 2023 · Comment icon 21 comments

How long will this go on for ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Christopher Michel
The seaborne mammals have sunk 3 boats and damaged 100 more over the past 18 months or so.
The phenomenon, which seems to be limited to a rare and endangered population of Iberian orcas, had - until very recently - been relegated to the waters of Spain and Portugal, with multiple reported instances of unprovoked attacks on boats.

The animals seem to go for the rudder and in some cases even follow the crippled boats back to port.

Now, according to reports, there has even been a case of this happening off the coast of Scotland some 2,000 miles away - suggesting that the behavior is spreading and the animals are literally teaching one another to attack boats.
Experts believe that this behavior may have started with an adult female named White Gladis who survived some sort of traumatic event such as being injured by a collision with a boat.

Younger orcas then started to copy her and the trend spread among the population.

"We think that the other orcas are juveniles and are copying [White Gladis'] behavior because she is an adult and they think that as an adult 'we need to do this to survive,'" marine biologist Monica Gonzalez told Yachting Monthly.

Whether or not the animals will give up on this destructive new habit anytime soon remains to be seen.

Source: Live Science | Comments (21)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Abramelin 8 months ago
Apparently it's kind of hard for people to think animals are able to consider revenge on us humans. These animals have big brains, and are very intelligent. But because they didn't invent things that would impress us, "Sons of God", many of us think they just act on instinct. They don't.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Nicolette 8 months ago
Maybe they declared war on us 18 months ago but nobody understood orca as humans are too egocentric to communicate with animals that aren't responding to english.
Comment icon #14 Posted by iAlrakis 8 months ago
time for every person on earth to start reading this one:
Comment icon #15 Posted by Jon the frog 7 months ago
If it start to be common, it will end with a lot of them getting wounded by propellers... people will just start engine to get out of there and it will be over.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Abramelin 7 months ago
Or it will get worse. Scientists are getting more and more convinced these orcas are out on revenge:  
Comment icon #17 Posted by Abramelin 7 months ago
I think thìs is:  
Comment icon #18 Posted by Commander CMG 7 months ago
I have seen this on documentaries, terrifying. 
Comment icon #19 Posted by Jon the frog 7 months ago
Moron... it's like people going up close to grizzli bears or bisons to get mauled. If she would have died, it would just be good for Darwin award...
Comment icon #20 Posted by Cho Jinn 7 months ago
Do you think this demonstrated contempt makes you appear intelligent?
Comment icon #21 Posted by Abramelin 7 months ago
Does thìs remark make YOU appear intelligent? Jon is right: people often think animals are creations by Walt Disney: you can cuddle them whenever you like.

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