Subject: Killer whales dangerous?

Jennifer D. Philips (jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu)
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 18:43:52 -1000

>Are Killer Whales dangerous?
>

THAT depends on whether or not you are a gray whale.  Actually, there are
two known 'types' of killer whales in the world.  One type is known as the
'resident' killer whales - they live in very tightly-knit groups called
pods and have small, local homeranges.  This type is only dangerous to
fish, since that is what they eat, almost exclusively.  The other type is
the 'transient' killer whales - now these are the killer whales that will
eat other marine mammals, such as gray whales, dolphins, and seals.  These
whales are less known than the resident type, but we believe they live in
family groups that travel through much larger homeranges.  These whales
have even been seen to tackle a great white shark.  BUT, despite that,
there has never been a documented case of a killer whale attacking a human
in the wild.  So, I would have to say that no, killer whales are not
dangerous to us.

Hope this answers your question.  Thanks for emailing whalenet!

Aloha - 

Jen


__________________________________

Jennifer D. Philips		
jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu

Marine Mammal Research Program
HIMB, University of Hawaii at Manoa
PO Box 1106			
Kailua, HI  96734
voice:  (808) 247-5063
fax: (808) 247-5831
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