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Kicker: Killer whale gang


WORLD Radio - Kicker: Killer whale gang

A pod of orcas off the Iberian coast is attacking and sinking boats

In this photo taken July 31, 2015, a NOAA law enforcement patrol boat, right, is stopped near a recreational boat going past as an orca whale swims in view in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Wash. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

MARY REICHARD, HOST: You’ve heard about social contagion? How bad ideas can spread? Well it’s not just happening on social media, as boaters off the coast of Portugal found out recently.

Here’s sound from ABC News:

BOATERS: They may just be playing with us. For sure they’re going to damage the boat.

A pod of orcas started ramming boats near Europe in 2020. Since then, the whales damaged many boats and even sank three of them.

Despite their nickname, killer whales are usually peaceful towards humans, but some scientists believe at least one orca has a chip on her shoulder.

AUDIO: One of our hypotheses that is that one orca suffered a traumatic event and she only wanted to stop this boat. And right now this behavior is spreading.

Earlier this month, a man named Greg Blackburn was out on his boat when a mama orca and her calf started ramming into it. He eventually made it back to port and repaired the damage, but this may not be the end of it.

GREG BLACKBURN: It's definitely teaching, which is quite unnerving as a sailor, but to see the next generation now is learning, it's obviously going to be a continued habit within this pod.


It’s The World and Everything in It.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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