Shark-eating killer whales lurking in Cape Town’s waters

Wildlife researchers have confirmed that there is a new, super predator roaming in Cape Town's coastline - shark-eating killer whales.

Marine biologist Tamlyn Engelbrecht says the killer whale is mainly targeting broadnose sevengill sharks in False Bay.

Researchers have identified that the super predator is, in fact, a killer whale by analysing the wound patterns during necropsies performed on the carcasses.

Read: Shark Spotters baffled by bizarre decrease in white sharks in False Bay

While the killer whales seem to have a sporadic presence in False Bay, Engelbrecht says there has been a notable increase since 2015.

In False Bay we've had a couple of incidents where broadnose sevengill sharks have been clearly targeted by killer whales.

Tamlyn Engelbrecht, Research manager - Shark Spotters, and PhD candidate - iCWild

We've seen very clear bite marks on the sharks that point to killer whales... They definitely have arrived.

Tamlyn Engelbrecht, Research manager - Shark Spotters, and PhD candidate - iCWild

Engelbrecht says the number of killer whales coming in and out the bay has been on the rise since 2009.

However, this is the first time that shark-eating killer whales have been recorded in False Bay and in South Africa.

It's interesting that since 2015, we've now seen the arrival of this new subgroup of killer whales that seems to have a taste for sharks.

Tamlyn Engelbrecht, Research manager - Shark Spotters, and PhD candidate - iCWild

Listen to the insightful discussion on The John Maytham Show:


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