In pictures: Simon’s Town Boat Company treated to a killer whale hunt

Posted on 30 May 2023 By Jordyn Johnson

Simon’s Town Boat Company documented killer whales’ hunting in False Bay between 2009 and 2015. Watching them prey on common dolphins became an (almost) annual event for the company, up until ‘they were knocked off their perch by the infamous shark killers Port and Starboard.’

On Saturday, 28 May, seasoned land-based spotter, Peter Morgan called the company to report a killer whale sighting, eight years since the last time orcas were spotted in that area.

They found the pod just over 3 km off Simon’s Town and observed them until they ‘noticed the 300 strong pod of dolphins in the distance, heading straight towards [them] and the deadly killer whales.’

Expecting pandemonium, the members of the company were surprised by ‘the absence of a typical common dolphin flight response.’ One hypothesis is that ‘the killer whales had been shadowing and feeding on this pod of dolphins for a long time, possibly a number of days, and maybe even corralled them into False Bay.’ It looked as though the dolphins had given in to the inevitable and were relying on their large numbers for their individual survival.

The boat company did get to see one attack, as a dolphin was sent flying into the air. The female who initiated the attack handed the dolphin over to the male who swam around the dolphin for about 10 minutes before another female showed up and killed it.

Simon’s Town Boat Company spent another hour with the killer whales before the pod moved towards Cape Hangklip.

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Pictures: Simon’s Town Boat Company

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ALSO READ: Debate arises as orcas attack boats: Aggression or social learning?

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