Killer whales rip out livers of 17 sharks in ruthless killing spree
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**Warning: This article contains images which some readers may find upsetting**
A group of 17 sharks were brutally slaughtered by a pair of Orcas and washed up at a beach near Gansbaai, South Africa.
The Orca, often known by its other fitting title, the 'Killer whale' is considered to be one of the most ruthless and powerful killers in the ocean.
Pretty scary creatures.
And the two Orcas that caused the mass murder at Pearly Beach, aptly named Port and Starboard in keeping with the nautical theme, were tracked by a team of scientists who were on board a Marine Dynamics vessel.
The troublesome two are both males and are roughly around 20 years old.
Ralph Watson, scientist at the Marine Dynamics Academy said: “We observed the two orcas repeatedly diving down in a small area for almost two hours before they departed offshore,”
The following Tuesday, the team found eleven dead Broad nose seven-gill sharks at the very same beach, where the MDA team were then able to retrieve the carcasses.
The research team have been looking into why the Orcas carry out such an onslaught on their shark counterparts that share the same waters. Lead researcher, Alison Towner, PhD candidate at Rhodes university has teamed up with Watson and students at MDA to perform necropsies on the deceased shark shiver to learn more.
“This research is part of a coordinated effort between various killer whale and shark scientists; it has been ongoing since 2015,” explained Towner.
“Each seven-gill shark was torn open and missing its liver; they were all females measuring between 1.6-2.3 meters and had similar injuries to those killed in False Bay by the same orca pair.”
The brutal nature of the killings is unusual to say the least - especially considering that each shark was missing the same organ and had been attacked in the very same manner.
The adverse weather conditions, which lead to a surging storm earlier in the week, caused rough enough waves to push the shark bodies onto shore.
“This is the largest amount of sharks these orcas have killed in this area in one sitting,” Towner said.
He added: “There could well be more that didn’t wash out”.
A post shared on Facebook by Dryer Island Cruises detailing the horrific scenes has also urged passersby to report any stranded sharks they see to Marine Dynamics.
Featured Image Credit: Marine Dynamics Conservation Trust/ Christine Wessels