In the distance much whale activity that was different from that of Bryde's and Southern Right for the last few weeks of May and then early June much closer - caught on camera. Unfortunately only a cell phone photo but clear enough to determine that this was the Orca (Orcinus orca).
Known as a killer whale it is actually a toothed whale that belongs to the oceanic dolphin family. There are three distinct forms and it is likely that O. orca will be split into a number of different species or at least subspecies (IUCN). They are the most widely distributed mammal on earth apart from humans. They are carnivorous and had a devastating effect on great white sharks in False Bay and Gansbaai in 2017. The scientists found that the white shark livers‚ nutritious and weighing as much as a human being‚ had been removed with almost surgical precision by the orcas. Some of the great whites returned and shark diving operators even welcomed some individual sharks they recognised (Keeton, April 2018).
It would be interesting to know if the two seen here recently have had a similar impact on the sharks - or perhaps our seal colony. Does anyone have any updated information to share?
Photos and anecdotes from Rooielsers
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