A pair of orcas has been spotted off the coast of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the Emirate’s Crown Prince, shared the video on social media. It is noted that the video was shot in the Jebel Ali area.
It should be noted that orcas, which often come close to UAE shores, managed to sow panic among social media users this week. Earlier this week, a video of a fisherman showing orcas surrounding a dugong surfaced online.
Due to the sighting of the mammals, beaches in the UAE capital have been closed for two days. Although orcas are not considered a danger to humans, the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency has urged people to stay away from them and also to report sightings by calling 800555.
These toothed whales belong to the oceanic dolphin family and are the largest of their species. A male orca can reach a length of 10 metres – almost half the length of a tennis court – and can weigh around 10 tonnes. Its dorsal fin can reach up to two metres in height, enabling them to reach speeds of up to 54km/h.
The orca is painted black on its back and sides, its throat is white and it has a white longitudinal stripe on its belly. On the back, behind the dorsal fin, there is a gray saddle spot. There is a white spot above each eye. The shape of the spots in orcas is so individual that it makes it possible to identify individuals.
Despite their impressive size, orcas are considered non-hazardous to humans, but are carnivorous. Their diet includes fish, seals and sea lions, porpoises, sharks and rays, octopus, squid, seabirds and many others.
Orcas can easily dive to a depth of 300 metres, but can stay underwater for no more than 4 minutes. The killer whale is the only true predator among modern cetaceans that stalks warm-blooded animals. Their average life span is 50 years for males and 75-100 years for females.
Source: The National