A pair of killer whales are thought to have claimed their ninth victim (at least) after a brutally killed great white shark washed up on a beach in the Western Cape, South Africa.
The rogue apex predators, who appear to work as a team, are thought to have been preying on Great Whites for the past seven years… feasting on their livers. Recent groundbreaking drone video footage has shown their modus operandi, confirming speculation that killer whales ate great white sharks for their liver.
Scientists are beginning to accept the killer whales’ new behavior, after studying the carcasses of sharks shot since the first one in 2017.
Killer whales – known as orcas – have developed a taste for the highly nutritious foie gras, weighing up to 600 pounds, inside the great whites.
And the black-and-white killer whales have found a unique way to reach their victims’ precious organ, launching repeated attacks until the shark is exhausted.
Then an orca dives in to kill him, attacking from below, with its serrated teeth ripping through the great white with surgical precision, just below the liver.
The organ falls freely and the killer whales devour what is for them a delicacy. So far, nine great white shark carcasses have washed ashore, minus their giant livers.
In the latest incident, a butchered nine-foot Great White female was washed up in Mossel Bay in the dawn waves at the tourist spot.
Local resident Cristiaan Stopforth said: ‘It was so sad to see this incredible majestic animal lying there lifeless because of these killer whales – it’s the second in two months.
Marine biologist Alison Towner said: “To have to perform necropsies on every shark carcass in South Africa is sad and never gets easier.”
The killer whales, when they strike, bite a large cleft in the side and belly of the great white and suck the foie gras, leaving the shark to die.
The predatory pair believed to be responsible for all attacks are known as port and starboard. The pair – who have become infamous – are named after the side of their body on which their dorsal fins turn.
They seem to have discarded their natural prey like seals, squid and fish after developing a taste for shark livers and hunting Great Whites (which were made internationally famous by the movie Jaws).
With nine Great Whites stranded, all between 8 and 14 feet and all suffering the same precision injuries, it’s unclear how many more Great Whites are being killed in deep water.
Scientist Alison of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust has spent much of her life studying Great Whites and the change in their habits. and recorded their disappearance after attacks.
The constant threat from Orca’s Port & Starboard has seen the once prolific population of False Bay great white sharks around Seal Island all but disappear, where before their numbers were plentiful.
The pattern continues on the east coast of South Africa to the famous Gansbaai shark viewing area, as killer whales expand their territory… hunting great white sharks.
Expert Alison said when she recently published a study in the African Journal of Marine Science that following a killer whale attack, the remaining great white sharks took off for weeks or even years. month.
She said: “We seem to be seeing a large-scale avoidance strategy and the more killer whales frequent these territorial sites, the longer the great white sharks will stay away.”
The carcass of the great white shark was taken by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment to the nearby Dias Maritime Museum for scientific study and dissection.
There are thought to be between 350 and 550 great white sharks left along the South African coast, but killer whale activities are upsetting cage diving boats with numbers dropping dramatically.
WATCH Great white shark stranded in Mossel Bay, South Africa after killer whale attack
WATCH groundbreaking footage showing the attack and death of a great white shark by killer whales
This groundbreaking video was filmed in Mossel Bay, by Christiaan Stopforth of @fanatics.drone
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