Killer Whale Steals Caught Fish Off Line At Last Moment

Creatures much larger than anticipated interrupting people’s fishing exhibitions almost always results in an explosive viral video. A great example is the viral video of a Bald-Headed Eagle stealing a fish off a fishing line which stands with over four million views

Alaskan fisherman Charlie Barberini is now the newest sportsman to go viral after he and his friends were absolutely stunned to watch an enormous Killer Whale Orca appear and steal their catch at the last moment before reeling it in. 

Now, the new video that debuted over the weekend has gone viral, and is covered further on NPR, AlaskaLife, and ScienceRecorder


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California Just Banned SeaWorld From Breeding Captive Orcas

In another blow to SeaWorld, the state of California has ruled that they will no longer be able to breed their captive orcas. In a ruling made by the California Coastal Commission, they granted approval for a $100 million (65 million) expansion to the orca tanks at SeaWorld San Diego, which will double the size of the animals current enclosure, butmade this on the key condition that they cease all breeding of the whales.

The decision came after over 600 people gathered both in support and against SeaWorld at a hearing in Long Beach, California, with both sides giving impassioned speeches, according to a report from CNN. While the breeding of orcas in captivity will still be legal in the other 49states of America, the ruling will prohibit the sale, trade, or transfer of all captive whales. This now means that the 11 orcas currently kept at SeaWorld San Diego will be the last in California.

SeaWorld San Diego plan to expandtheir orca exhibit, but will no longer be allowed to breed the whales. Daleen Loest/Shutterstock

The move has obviously beenpraised and celebrated by animal rights groups. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals(PETA) spokesperson Ben Williamson said: SeaWorld has admitted that it intended to breed even more orcas to fill the new tanks, but the commission’s action today ensures that no more orcas will be condemned to a nonlife of loneliness, deprivation and misery. SeaWorld is a sea circus, and the orcas are its abused elephants.

They are also calling on SeaWorld to stop building new tanks and to send the remaining whales to coastal sanctuaries so that they can have some semblance of a natural life. Opposition to the chain of marine mammal parks has been building since the documentary Blackfish hit the screens in 2013, which detailed the controversy surrounding the captivity of orcas in tanks. It particularly focused on the whale Tilikum, and the psychological and physical damage done to the whale from being in captivity.

Supporters of SeaWorld argue that by keeping the orcas in captivity, they are able to reach and teach large audiences about the importance of conservation and preservation of their wild counterparts. They state that the new enclosurebeing built for the whales, called the Blue World, will create a better life for the whales, of which breeding should be an integral part. Breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animals life and depriving a social animal of the right to reproduce is inhumane, said SeaWorld.

The backlash from the award-winning documentary has already been felt hard by SeaWorld, with attendance to the park having slumped and profits takinga dive. It seems that the days for keeping orca whales in captivity, at least in California, are now numbered.

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Incredible Footage Captures Killer Whales Hunting And Eating A Tiger Shark

Underwater footage taken off the coast of Costa Rica has for the very first time documented killer whales attacking a tiger shark.

Video taken by photographer Caroline Power, 26, shows three whales, two females and one male, forcing the seven-foot shark to the surface before engaging in the attack.

Power, a native of Louisiana now living in Honduras, told the Mirror,

The shark made one last attempt to use the boat as shelter and as it swam straight at me I could almost see the desperation in its black eyes. I lifted my head and camera out of the water just before his razor-sharp teeth could grab me. It then started biting the side of the boat, working itself around before attacking the engines as well. I think he wanted to get into the boat.

The male orca then paralyzed the fish by flipping it onto its back, leaving it to be eaten alive.

Power said the killer whales seemed to be playing with their food, swimming with the body hanging out of their mouths when they could have been done with it in minutes.

She said,

I believe this is the first time orcas hunting tiger sharks has been documented — we were all fairly awestruck. After the orcas had left we all just kind of stood in the boat, staring at the ocean, contemplating what we had seen.

The tiger shark is the top predator in those waters, so to see it knocked off the top of the food chain, to see it afraid, to see it fight for its life and lose was pretty incredible.

Another female killer whale and her infant could be seen watching the action from afar.

Power added that her team saw the same pod of whales kill a hammerhead shark just days before.

She said the whales ate the tiger shark down to its bones before leaving the area.

H/T: Mirror

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The Noise From Ships Interferes With Orca Communication

We know that plastics littering the oceans are a major problem to the marine environment, but if you were to dip your head under the waves near a busy port, youd be able to hear another considerable problem. Thebackground humand din of commercial ships passing up and down the coast could beharming thesurvivalof whales and dolphins, whichrely on the clicking and listening of biosonar to do everything from talk to each other to hunt.A recent paper published in PeerJ has looked into how the noise is affectingorcas off the Washington statecoast.

While a growing body of evidence shows that ships produce low-frequency noises that can disrupt the communication, and thus survival, of baleen whales, little has been done to investigate whether or not ships also produce noise that affects toothed whales, which tend to use higher frequency calls. If so, then the massive increase in the passage of commercial ships, estimated to have gone up by a factor of 10 in the past 50 years, could be having a major impact on the ability of toothed whales to hunt, as well as talk to each other.

The whales off Washington state’s coastmay find it difficult to hunt with all the background noise from cargo

To try and answer this question, U.S. researchers recorded the hum produced by ships as they passed up and down the Washington state coast. This coastal area is of particular importance, as it contains the core range of the endangered Southern Resident killer whales, which display distinct social, behavioral, and linguistic characteristics compared to other orcas. As of 2015, there were only 84 individual Southern Resident killer whales recorded, making the understanding of what negatively impacts these creatures vitally important.

By measuring the noise of nearly 1,600 ships as they passed through Haro Strait, Washington, they found that the ships were producingsignificant amountsof background noise. They discovered that this elevated din coming from the ships covered not only the lower frequencies as expected, but also the medium to higher frequencies of around 20,000 Hz, at which orcas hear the best. This, suspect the researchers, means that the extra traffic from the commercial ships is almost certainly interfering with their ability to communicate with each other, as well as hunt the fish they feed on.

Interestingly, while the researchers found that container ships were the biggest problem, military vessels had some of the lowest levels of noise pollution. If the commercial sector used the military’squieter technology on their own ships, the researchers suggest, it could be a way of limiting the damage that the underwater hum causes to the whales, and could lead to a more hushed marine environment.

Photo Gallery

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Killer Whale Steals Halibut from Fisherman in Alaska (Video)

An orca surprised an angler as he was reeling in a fish to his boat off the coast of Alaska. The rarely seen halibut-stealing killer whale was caught on video that went viral after being shared on The Alaska Life Facebook page:

Video via Youtube. H/T: GrindTV

1995 VHS Footage Captures Shocking Orca Incident At SeaWorld

An old VHS tape shot 18 years ago by audience members at a SeaWorld orca show reveals disturbing behavior from one of the whales — and the clip is even more potent now, in light of recent backlash against the park stemming from the documentary “Blackfish.”

The clip, which can be seen in its entirety below, was shot in 1995 at SeaWorld’s Ohio location, which closed in 2001. The orca featured prominently in the film is a female named “Kayla.”

At about 2:09 in the film, Kayla can be seen trying to haul herself out of the water onto a platform. The behavior is similar to that of wild orcas, who often beach themselves onto ice floes to grab prey.




Around 2:30, she lunges up and onto a protective wall, then falls back into the water.




At last, at 2:45, Kayla comes up and over the wall, her head so close to the audience members that they can (and do) reach out and touch her.




The entire video:



With the recent publicity surrounding the danger that captive orca whales pose to their trainers coupled with the tragic death of senior trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010, the video seems shocking — its ending could’ve gone very differently. Jeffrey Ventre, a former SeaWorld trainer, told The Dodo that this type of behavior was not unusual at the park.

“This current video is of another bored and curious killer whale coming out of the water and making contact with park guests wanting to pet the ‘happy Shamu,’” he said.

In a series of official profiles of select captive whales that was compiled by SeaWorld and published online, it’s clear that this is far from Kayla’s only offense. A segment of Kayla’s profile:

The profile describes several other incidents, including one in which Kayla, who was separated from her mother at 11 months old, lunged at a trainer “with her mouth open, contacting him and throwing him several feet.”

Despite these incidents, Kayla, now 25 years old and living at SeaWorld Orlando, continued to work with trainers in her tank for years, until the practice was banned by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2010.

Ventre pointed out that behavior like this occurred in other whales — like Tilikum, the orca who killed Brancheau and was involved in the deaths of two other people.

“I once filmed Tilikum coming out of the water, aggressively, at a very senior trainer at Shamu stadium, in the mid 1990’s,” he said, noting that Kayla and Tilikum’s behavior are evidence that SeaWorld knew how dangerous captive orcas were before Brancheau’s death.

“In the heartbreaking case of Tilikum, he’s managed to grab and kill 3 humans, out of boredom, curiosity or frustration. Based on this video, personal experiences, photographs, and knowledge that I have, it’s probably very fortunate that a park guest hasn’t been pulled in.”

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