Orcas attack and overturn boats off the coast of Spain in what researchers say could be a study. A local rescue organization said on Thursday that several killer whales had destroyed a boat, adding to the number of orca attacks that have occurred off the coast of Spain and Portugal this year.
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The yacht was en route to Gibraltar in the early hours of Thursday when a group of musicians broke through the side of the boat and broke the rudder. A fast ship was sent to assist the British 66 meter ship and it was towed to the port of Barbate, in the province of Cadiz, for repairs.
Orca encounters have been on the rise since 2020, which has caused researchers to question why the killer whale, which is a peaceful animal since ancient times, has suddenly started attacking ships. But a researcher in Portugal thinks he may have an answer.
The attacks may have come from the orca, which scientists call White Gladis, when it had a “painful moment” in relation to the boat, Alfredo López Fernandez, a marine biologist at the University of Aveiro in Portugal, said. Life Sciences. “That upset orca is what caused the boat-related behavior,” he said, adding, “Orcas are doing this on purpose.” But some researchers don’t really know.
Andrew W. Trites, professor and director of Marine Mammal Research at the University of British Columbia said CBS news that he does not believe that the whales are taking revenge. “I read that something triggered one of the older women and she is taking revenge and teaching the others to do the same by driving ships and trying to sink them on purpose,” he said. Herding a ram boat feels like running into a brick wall. You will be injured.”
Last year alone, there were 207 reported interactions with Orcas according to the research team GTOA which also found that there have been 20 collisions this month in the Strait of Gibraltar, where a British ship sank on Thursday.
Monika Wieland Shields, director of the Orca Behavior Institute in Washington said NBC News“I think it’s considered violent because it’s destructive, but I don’t think we can say that the impulse is violent.”
Shields confirmed that orcas are generally gentle, not known to be aggressive towards humans, even when they are attacked and kept in captivity. “They had a reason to behave this way,” he told the newspaper. “There are places where fishermen are shot, they see family members taken from their groups into exile in the 60s and 70s. And if something would have caused direct violence, I would think that such a thing would have done.”
Although researchers continue to speculate about the dramatic changes in orca behavior, the truth is that no one knows. “My opinion, or what someone else will give you, is speculation,” Trites told CBS News. “It’s a total mystery, something that hasn’t happened before.”