Orcas, also known as killer whales, are not common to South African shores but they are known to pop up about 10 times a year in the False Bay area – and Simon’s Town Boat Company are experts are capturing them at play.
On Sunday, 12 September a pod of killer whales appeared in the False Bay area in the Western Cape and Dave Hurwitz from Simon’s Town Boat Company shot the most incredible pictures of them.
The last time the orcas made an appearance was June, but it was brief appearance and disappearance. They appear to be hanging around the Simon’s Town area right now but their behaviour is so unpredictable they could disappear as fast as they appeared.
Did you know?
- Orcas were given the name killer whales by ancient sailors who watched them prey on larger whales.
- They are in fact the largest of the dolphin species – and are not whales.
- Their name Orcinus orca translates to the ‘kingdom of the dead’ because they are the top predators of the ocean.
- Killers whales eat large whales, sharks, rays, dolphins, fish, seals, seabirds and everything in-between – they are what you call generalist eaters. They do, however, get fussy if their pod eats something specific, then they choose their diet to match this diet.
- Most interesting is that each orca family have their own distinct call and vocalisation which is passed down from the elders in the pod. This includes knowledge of what to eat and where to find this food. And what areas to avoid.