Killer whales off Gibraltar have baffled scientists

Scientists have found a group of killer whales in a strange place that overturn and sink yachts, writes LiveScience. Since 2020, researchers have recorded hundreds of attacks by pods of killer whales against yachts in the Strait of Gibraltar. Mammals managed to sink several such vessels, the last one being Polish at the end of October 2023.
The group numbers up to 40 individuals; they live mainly off the coasts of Spain and Portugal. On April 10, three of the group of killer whales were spotted swimming near a large yacht off the coast of Galicia in northern Spain. The trio did not attack the vessel, but local conservation group Orca Ibérica GTOA, which closely monitors the Iberian subpopulation, asked sailors to "take care when passing" through the area.
The fact that orcas changed their location surprised scientists. Killer whales usually don't come this far north until mid to late summer. "Theoretically, they are in the Strait of Gibraltar in the spring and should reach northern Spain at the end of the summer," said Alfredo López Fernández, a biologist at the University of Aveiro in Portugal. He added that scientists cannot explain why orcas appeared in the north so early.
It was previously reported that killer whales in the Strait of Gibraltar have begun teaching their fellow killer whales how to sink yachts. Experts suspect that the attacks began after trauma suffered by the individual nicknamed Gladys the White. They believe that this female suffered a severe fright as a result of a collision with a ship or was on the verge of being killed by poachers. This event caused her to perceive all sailing boats as a potential threat, and those close to her adopted her reaction to them. /BGNES