Thursday 30 June 2022 12:06 AM Pair of orcas have killed at least EIGHT Great White Sharks off the coast of ... trends now

Thursday 30 June 2022 12:06 AM Pair of orcas have killed at least EIGHT Great White Sharks off the coast of ... trends now
Thursday 30 June 2022 12:06 AM Pair of orcas have killed at least EIGHT Great White Sharks off the coast of ... trends now

Thursday 30 June 2022 12:06 AM Pair of orcas have killed at least EIGHT Great White Sharks off the coast of ... trends now

Two killer whales are thought to have killed at least eight Great White Sharks off the coast of South Africa since 2017, and managed to scare off many more.

Researchers found that the Great Whites have been avoiding certain regions of the Gansbaai coast for fear of being hunted by orca.

Many of the shark carcasses washed up without their livers and hearts, or with other injuries distinctive to the orca pair.

Shark experts at the Dyer Island Conservation Trust claim this suggests the marine predators trigger the 'flight' response to fear in sharks when nearby.

This in turn results in their rapid, long-term emigration from the area, creating an opportunity for an influx of new predators to deplete other species.

Senior White Shark biologist Alison Towner said: 'The research is particularly important, as by determining how large marine predators respond to risk, we can understand the dynamics of coexistence with other predator communities.

'These dynamics may also dictate the interactions between competitors or intra-guild predator-prey relationship.'

At least seven great white shark carcasses have washed ashore in False Bay since 2017, with telltale teeth marks indicating they were savaged by orcas. Researchers say Great Whites that encounter killer whales will immediately abandon their usual hunting ground for up to a year

At least seven great white shark carcasses have washed ashore in False Bay since 2017, with telltale teeth marks indicating they were savaged by orcas. Researchers say Great Whites that encounter killer whales will immediately abandon their usual hunting ground for up to a year

Experts at the Dyer Island Conservation Trust claim the decline in Great White Sharks suggests the orcas trigger their 'flight' response to fear when nearby

Experts at the Dyer Island Conservation Trust claim the decline in Great White Sharks suggests the orcas trigger their 'flight' response to fear when nearby

Between 2010 and 2016 shark spotters recorded more than 200 great white sightings a year at False Bay, near Seal Island (pictured). In a study published today, biologist Alison Towner reports that she has tracked 14 sharks fleeing the Gansbaai coast areas when orcas are present

Between 2010 and 2016 shark spotters recorded more than 200 great white sightings a year at False Bay, near Seal Island (pictured). In a study published today, biologist Alison Towner reports that she has tracked 14 sharks fleeing the Gansbaai coast areas when orcas are present

WHY DO ORCAS HUNT GREAT WHITE SHARKS? 

Orcas are the only natural predator of the Great White.

Scientists have found proof that they are gashing the sharks open and eating their fatty livers. 

Scientists speculate this behaviour may be behind the disappearance of great whites from the waters of False Bay, off of the coast of Cape Town.

Great Whites frequented the area between the months of June to October every year as part of their annual winter hunting season.

They were drawn to the region by the presence of the so-called Seal Island, a rock home to a huge seal colony.

However, they have themselves fallen pray to orcas — and are on the retreat.

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Gansbaai was once a world-renowned place for spotting the legendary Great White, with tourists across the globe visiting and partaking in cage diving. 

In a study published today in the African Journal of Marine Science, Towner reports that she has tracked 14 sharks fleeing the areas when orcas are present over a five-and-a-half year period. 

This accompanied a dramatic decrease in visual sightings in certain Western Cape Bays, where they have dominated over many years.

The study's lead author said: 'Initially, following an orca attack in Gansbaai, individual Great White Sharks did not appear for weeks or months. 

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