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Why Can’t Sharks & Whales Get Along?

Orca jumping

It is interesting that on the one hand the face of a white shark strikes fear into your heart, while a killer whale fills you with awe. Don’t get me wrong, sharks are scary and they should be feared. They are like a mean kid with no friends who just wants to be feared. Whales are seemingly more peaceful, but they have a vicious side too.

You could say that the killer whale is the biggest guy in school, everyone is scared of him, but he isn’t mean. The only time the killer whale fights is for food or when he sees his arch nemesis.

But why do killer whales hunt sharks?

Some scientists believe that it is simply due to food supply. Apparently the big ol’ ocean can be a tough place to find food sometimes and when a killer whale sees the opportunity for some food they take it. Others think that they attack sharks because they know they can win.

As we talked about in our recent post outlining some fun facts about whales, whales are REALLY REALLY SMART. Orcas have figured out that when they flip sharks upside down they become paralyzed and can no longer fight back. Younger whales are known to watch the adult whales take on sharks to learn proper technique. In efforts to scare away sharks from certain waters orca screams are known to be used. Sharks are scared even to hear the mighty scream of the killer whale.

Hopefully I haven’t scared you because even though killer whales have the capabilities to be dangerous, they pose no threat to humans.

Most scientists agree that whales don’t (and haven’t yet) attack humans in the wild. There have been incidents with people being pulled underwater, but they were not deemed attacks. On the other hand, in captivity there are examples of mentally unstable and agitated whales taking it out on their human handlers.

When it comes to white sharks vs killer whales, I would always bet on the whales. But don’t worry, there aren’t any known species of dangerous sharks that frequent J-Pods BC home.

If you are interested in whales and how they behave in their natural environment, book a spot on one of our daily departures for a whale watching adventure. We guarantee that you will see whales on an adventure with us, ask us about it!

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See you out on the water!