Saturday, September 30, 2023

Ship Captain Attacked by Killer Whales Off Spain Debunks Theory Orcas are Out for Revenge

Killer whale attacks on boats and other types of vessels have been reported in the waters of Europe and even on the northwestern coast of Africa in the past several weeks and months.

Watercraft passengers and others who became victims of the unusual orca attacks were left scratching their heads, as marine mammals have a clean track record when it comes to killing humans in the wild.

Amid the boat attacks, various theories have emerged, with the most dominant being about the revenge of a particular female orca called Gladys the killer whale, also known as ‘White Gladis,’ as mentioned in mainstream media.

The theory suggests that Gladys was once apparently struck by an unknown vessel or got entangled in a fishing net while in the open sea.

The theory adds that although White Gladis is the only one involved among her kin in relation to the alleged vessel strikes, some other members of the orca community have joined up her cause. The theory, coming from experts, has been evident based on previous incidents. Back in May, it was reported that a pod of orcas had sunk three boats in Europe.

Now, new reports suggest that the theory is being debunked by a ship captain who was also attacked by orcas in the waters off the coast of southern Spain last month. While many people reportedly believe that the killer whales are out for revenge, the said captain the reason for the phenomenon could be another reason.

Gladys the Killer Whale

(Photo : Image by M W from Pixabay)

The killer whale boat attacks were considered isolated cases at first. However, as the trend continues experts have begun to suspect that something is at play and this involved the said orca matriarch Gladys, who was reported to have been traumatized by the man-made crafts.

The concerning part of the narrative is that the killer whales could also be learning the unusual behavior from the ‘traumatized’ orca, it was reported by the U.K.’s Independent.

For the month of May alone, there have been 20 incidents between the highly intelligent, sociable apex predators and small vessel sailing into the Strait of Gibraltar. In addition, this year saw the occurrence of dozens of orca attacks on ships traversing the waters off Spain and Portugal.

Also Read: Killer Whales ‘Port’ and ‘Starboard’ Return in South Africa, Duo Ate Livers of 17 Sharks in One Day

Ship Captain Debunks Theory

Ship captain Sebastien Destremau came into the spotlight when his yacht was taken by surprise by an aggressive pod of killer whales while off the Spanish coast on May 22.

While the prevailing theory suggests the pod is controlled by none other than White Gladis, Destremau dismisses the theory and is concerned that the orcas may be in trouble from armed, retaliating sailors, Newsweek reported.

Vessel Strikes

While details about what initially happened to White Gladis remain unknown, vessel strikes or ship collisions as the main cause of the aggressive behavior is no longer a surprise.

Between 2010 and 2014, 37 whales sustained injuries from vessel strikes along North America’s Atlantic coast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Related Article: New Theory Suggests Why Killer Whales Attack Three Boats Off the Iberian Coast: Scientists

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