A pair of South Africa’s infamous adult male killer whales killed 17 sharks “in one go,” marine biologists said.
A team from the Marine Dynamics Conservation Trust tracked down two orcas named Port and Starboard, which are known to prey on several species of sharks.
They found the killer whale “repeatedly dives in a confined area for nearly two hours before moving offshore.”
A few days later, they found the carcasses of 11 of the 17 Sevengill Sharks on Purley Beach. The seven-gill shark can grow up to 3m in length.
The Main Dynamics Conservation Trust states, “Each Sevengill Shark was torn apart and missing its liver.” The killer whales also devoured the contents of the shark’s stomach.
The Conservation Trust says storm and swell conditions washed up the shark on shore. “This is the largest number of sharks a killer whale has killed in the area at one time,” said Alison Towner, a Ph.D. candidate at Rhodes University and lead of the study. There could very well be more,” he said.
Orcas combi have been tracked since 2009, but are best seen in False Bay, South Africa, where they were first spotted in 2015.
They are easily identifiable due to their unusually collapsed dorsal fin.
Prior to 2015, sightings of great white sharks were frequent in the area and noted for their spectacular leaps when hunting seals, but today their numbers are negligible.
Several dead white sharks later washed up on the shores of False Bay, all with severe injuries and oily livers torn off. In May 2022, scientists were able to film Starboard killing a great white shark for the first time.
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