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When killer whales play with boats

When killer whales play with boats

About 500 interactions have been recorded since May 2020. They seem to have become more frequent in June 2022 according to study published at this time And the media started talking about him again this spring. In almost all cases it is a sailing boat on which a small group of killer whales approaches from behind. They hit the rudder repeatedly and gave up as soon as the boat stopped. There are three cases Where the “attack” was violent enough to rip a hole through the boat’s hull.

Interactions between fishermen and killer whales, also called killer whales, go back to ancient times: many stories tell of torn fishing nets or deliberate collisions with boats. But each time these are isolated episodes. What catches the eye this timethat it Repetition of these encounters.

the Testimonials – Recommendations It suggests that one killer whale initiates the attack, and then the others will follow suit. This refers to a series of lessons that would have started in May 2020 and have been transmitted since then, from one individual to another or from one group to another.

The killer whale is at the top of the food chain and can go so far as to hunt the shark, but it has never been considered a danger to humans. Species that live in this region of the Atlantic Ocean work in the spring and summer the list endangered species.

One of the authors of the 2022 study isn’t even convinced we can talk about “aggression” in the case of these “interactions” with boats. “We know it’s a complex behavior that has nothing to do with aggression,” says Portuguese biologist Alfredo Lopez Fernandez. Certainly no human being was killed.

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If this is indeed a “transferring” behavior – in other words, a killer whale who imitates others– Hypotheses range from the first killer whale, in 2020, that was going to get caught in a fishing net and was going to try to free itself from it by attacking the boat, to the first baby killer whale… that he wanted to play. “They are incredibly curious and playful animals and it can be more playful behavior than aggressive behavior” Add Biologist and killer whale expert Deborah Giles of the University of Washington.