Why are some orcas suddenly attacking boats?

By Analysis: The Big Story

For the past few years, orcas off the coast of Portugal and Spain have been bumping, attacking, and sinking small boats.

Since 2020, at least three boats have been sunk, and many more have needed urgent rescue.

Stephanie Pappas, a science journalist and writer for Scientific American, says it’s a mystery why the orcas are intercepting boats, but they do so in groups.

“Just like humans, orcas are social animals. So they live in these family groups and these pods, and they work together to hunt for food. So they’re wired to learn from each other,” says Pappas.

So what theories exist as to what might be behind this behaviour? And what happens if it spreads?

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