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US government refuses to shield endangered right whales from lethal ship collisions

The Biden administration in the US has denied an emergency petition that seeks to protect...

Automated cruelty – vending machines in Japan now dispense dead whale

In an effort to prop up the cruel and declining whale hunting industry in Japan,...

The Yogscast raises an ocean-sized donation for WDC

The New Year started with a bang for whales and dolphins thanks to Bristol-based gaming...
Russia captive orca NARNIA_2017_2 CREDIT Oxana Fedorova

Narnia the orca dies at Russian dolphinarium

Narnia the orca performs in Russia © Oxana Fedorova Narnia, a wild orca taken from...

Are orcas responsible for great white shark deaths in South Africa?

Scientists in South Africa have been examining the bodies of three great white sharks that have washed up off the coast of Gansbaai on the western Cape.

The sharks, up to 5m long, had their oil-rich livers missing, with the most likely explanation that they were probably preyed on by orcas.

The two predators are often found sharing the same habitat where there is large available prey such as seals, and some populations of orcas are known to feed on other species of sharks. However, incidents involving orcas hunting great whites have only been recorded on a few occasions, most notably in California and Australia.

Like many sharks, Great Whites are endangered and according to researchers from the Dyer Island Conservation Trust who have carried out a photo-id study, the population in the area is thought to be no more than around 1,000 sharks. The organisation has seen increased orca sightings in the area in recent years.

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.