Why don't wild orcas attack humans

Too intelligent to attack people

Ralf Kiefner about orcas and people

Whales and dolphins - both arouse great emotions among ocean lovers, environmentalists, divers, marine biologists, behavioral researchers and many others. The Cologne underwater photographer and filmmaker Ralf Kiefner has dedicated himself entirely to whales and dolphins. In a few days his whale app will also appear, which SW-online will also present at this point.
Until then, he will answer current questions about whales and dolphins, which are interesting not only for scientists, but also and above all for normal scuba divers or hobby snorkelers.

The second part of our little series is about the behavior of orcas towards humans.

Silent World online asks:
Orcas are rather wrongly called killer whales. In fact, her performance as a hunter is very impressive. Even so, there is no known case in the wild where an orca attacked a human. What can be the reason?

Ralf Kiefner:
I have a problem with calling animals “killers”. I prefer the name "killer whale".
I can only guess why. Killer whales are extremely successful hunters, with very special, sophisticated hunting techniques. They are highly intelligent animals, with close social ties, that have no natural enemies. They are unchallenged at the top of the marine food chain. It is certainly not because of their abilities that there has not been a recorded attack on a human in the wild. Humans do not belong in their prey scheme and probably they recognize the difference between humans and prey, thanks to their intelligence.





Text: psk Photos: Robert Pitman / Ralf Kiefner