One of the most feared animals on Earth is the great white shark. Generally seen as a cold-blooded predator, the great white shark sits at the top of the food chain in the marine environment. Or so we thought.
New evidence shows that even the most horrifying predator of the ocean is not entirely safe. These creatures are also prey.
You must be wondering what marine animals could prey on great white sharks, and the answer will surprise you: orcas. A video that was recently shared online shows orcas chasing great white sharks somewhere close to the South-African coast.
The scene is set near Seal Island in Mossel Bay on the Western cap. The island is quite small and rocky, populated by around 3,000 brown fur seals.
Because seals are so numerous, the area is the perfect hunting spot for great whites, which is why the island became a popular location for tourists.
The video was filmed by Elton Polly and uploaded on Oceans Research’s Facebook page. In the footage, you can see a shark fin cutting through the waves. Immediately, a bunch of orcas appear to be chasing away the sharks.
This footage was captured yesterday at Seal Island, Mossel Bay.Orcas were spotted chasing a white shark, and a few other white sharks were in the vicinity at the time. One white shark appears to be unnerved by the presence of the orcas, but another shark didn't seem too perturbed.We'll monitor the orca and white shark activity over the next few days, to see of there are any behavioural changes. 🎥 Elton Polly
Posted by Oceans Research on Thursday, 7 November 2019
Next to the video, Oceans Research wrote: “Orcas were spotted chasing a white shark, and a few other white sharks were in the vicinity at the time. One white shark appears to be unnerved by the presence of the orcas, but another shark didn’t seem too perturbed. We’ll monitor the orca and white shark activity over the next few days, to see [if] there are any behavioral changes.”
We can’t tell for sure if the orcas are actually following the sharks or if their behavior is coincidental. What we do know is that recent evidence shows that great white sharks and orcas don’t get along very well.
Salvador Jorgensen, a marine ecologist of Monterey Bay Aquarium, stated: “When confronted by orcas, white sharks will immediately vacate their preferred hunting ground and will not return for up to a year, even though the orcas are only passing through.”