An attack by an orca killing a great white shark was first documented in South Africa. The incident occurred in the waters off Mosselbay, South Africa.
Two killer whales, renamed Port and Starboard, have been slaughtering sharks in South Africa for a couple of years to feed on their livers, but no attacks had ever been filmed before.
Primo Micarelli director of the CSS Shark Study Center and Francesca Romana Reiniero, scientific coordinator of the CSS, explained: "One of the rarest events in the marine world. From aboard the White Shark Afrika boat we photographed and recorded all phases of the attack, elaborating an important documentation for the purpose of studying the behavior of the killer whales.
With the boat we approached to observe closer the anomalous behavior of the cetacean, and a few hundred meters away we found ourselves faced with an attack by the orca on the shark, which had no chance of escape. In the videos and photos collected it was also possible, having the orca directed towards our boat, to record the presence in the mouth of a piece of liver of the killed white shark.
The liver, together with the heart, are in fact the only parts in which the orcas are interested which, with surgical precision, they remove from the unfortunate shark, leaving the carcass otherwise intact.We also photographed and recorded the seagulls that began to participate in the event, recovering the liver parts on the surface.
Unfortunately, since 2017, the Pod of two killer whales, male specimens characterized by collapsed dorsal fins, possibly of non-natural origin, has been responsible for several attacks with documentation of at least a dozen white sharks killed.
The pair of killer whales has also been responsible for attacks on seven-gill sharks, copper sharks and whales and is creating increasingly evident and worrying alterations for the ecological health of the South African coast, unfortunately also subjected to overfishing problems.
The presence, since 2017, of the pair of Orcas which have also been responsible for attacks on seven-gill sharks, copper sharks and whales, is creating increasingly evident and worrying ecological alterations for the ecological health of the South African coast, unfortunately subjected also to overfishing problems and under observation by colleagues who, locally, monitor their state of health.