It turns out that killer whales like to steal fish from people

(ORDO NEWS) — People involved in fishing have long known that killer whales are not at all afraid of people and can easily swim close to the shore and steal fish from fishing lines or nets. And this is starting to worry experts, as killer whales are finding it increasingly difficult to forage on their own.

Killer whales are not only very smart animals, but also very cunning!

Fishermen often spot killer whales near places where people set up nets or fish with a line – they swim quite close and can steal fish right off the line. In particular, such situations are not uncommon on the Crozet Islands, which are located in the southern Indian Ocean.

Previous research has shown that killer whales in the area mostly prefer to feed on Patagonian toothfish, and this information has allowed local fishermen and marine scientists to track so-called killer whale fishing raids.

However, over time, experts noticed that their “raids” became more frequent, so it was necessary to find out: were there more killer whales, or did they learn how to steal masterfully?

To answer this question, an international team of scientists conducted a study published in the journal Biology Letters.

In the course of the work, experts counted the number of killer whales that swim close to people for the sake of fish. To do this, the researchers studied a large number of photographs of killer whales taken by fishermen, scientists and tourists.

The fact is that each killer whale has a unique pattern on its body, by which they can be distinguished, respectively, from the pictures it was possible to determine how many killer whales swim in this territory.

It turned out that there are no more killer whales around the Crozet Islands, but experienced thieves teach their less experienced comrades to steal fish from people – from 2010 to 2017, the number of stealing killer whales increased from 17 to 43. Researchers believe that animals will continue to steal fish and will master this skill is getting faster.


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