Killer Whales Chase Boat: Were The Orcas Simply Having Fun?

The Inquisitr posted a video yesterday showing a pod of killer whales chasing a boat. That video went viral and has been since then viewed over half a million times. Several thousands of people who watched the spectacle were left with mixed reactions. While some were terrified seeing the huge orcas chase the boat, others thought the animals were simply involved in some harmless fun. In case you haven’t watched that video yet, here it is embedded below for you.

In the previous report, we had mentioned that the two men on the boat were terrified when the killer whales began the chase. After all, who wouldn’t be scared when a pod of 30 giant killer whales decide to chase you?

Were the whales trying to harm the men on board the boat?

We may never find out the true answer. However, if we are to go by statistical records, it is highly unlikely that the killer whales had any intention of having the two men for lunch. Even though killer whales lie on top of the food chain in the ocean — capable of killing most other animals in the sea — orcas have never been heard of or seen attacking humans in the wild. Till now, there has not been a single fatality reported from a killer whale attack in the wild.

No one has ever been able to correctly guess the reason why killer whales do not attack humans in the wild. It is not as if these giant mammals are not capable of attacking us. Killer whales are known to eat prey that are much larger in size than humans. Large mammals like the elephant seal, walruses, and even an occasional polar bear have been preyed upon by killer whales. In fact, even the dreaded great white shark is known to keep a safe distance from killer whales. But no wild orca has ever killed a human being. In one documented case, a killer whale aborted an attack upon realizing that its prey was not a seal — but a human.

According to an old report by the Quest, there could be many reasons why orcas do not attack us. Maybe we aren’t tasty enough? Or it could be that we do not resemble the food they usually have. But then, so are polar bears. All the documented cases of killer whale attacks have happened in captivity. Even in those cases, several have been found to be instances where it was a case of play getting out of hand. Another plausible explanation for orca attacks in captivity could be the anxiety of the animal from the result of being trapped in a small pool for years.

In the wild, orcas have known to form bonds with divers and people. This is one of the reasons they could be trained easily to do tasks.

We may never understand the real reason why these beautiful animals never attack us — the least we can do, however, is to respect them and watch them in awe.

[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]