A viral video of an orca terminating an unsuspecting seabird has Instagram counting their blessings that killer whales avoid humans. The “Nature is Metal” Instagram account isn’t for the faint of heart–it’s full of graphic and unedited images of animals. Even though it is brutal honesty, the blog has managed to gain a following of over 4 million people.
A recent post showcasing the hunting skills of killer whales caught the attention of many of the account’s followers. It shows a sly orca stalking a clueless bird floating in the water. The whale snatches up the bird and rolls in the water with it. It almost seems like the killer whale is toying with its victim. At the end of the footage, the whale releases the bird, which is seen floating dead in the water. It remains unknown if the killer whale even bothers to eat its prey.
As always, the “Nature is Metal” channel does an excellent job of captioning their posted footage. “This family of orcas took turns attacking unsuspecting birds as they rested on the surface,” they wrote. “[It is]valuable training and practice to develop skills for an actual hunt! This little fulmar [a sea bird] never stood a chance!”
Many Instagram users questioned why Orcas don’t attack humans
“Nature is Metal” has a devoted fanbase that values the account’s information. The post acquired a great deal of notice from devotees, including over 30,000 likes and many comments. However, many followers couldn’t help but wonder why such a ruthless predator like the orca typically avoids attacking humans.
“How is it they attack everything on the surface except humans?”, one user asked. “And supposedly they’ve never attacked a human in the wild….or are there just no survivors to tell the tale,” another chimed in. Still, many users just appreciated the surface level of the amazing footage. “6 pc nuggets with Polynesian sauce please,’ one follower joked.
Orcas have long been considered dangerous in Western cultures. The first written description of an orca was given by Pliny the Elder in 70 AD. He wrote that they looked like “an enormous mass of savage flesh with teeth” and that they charged at other whales like ships ramming each other.
Although there have been very few cases of orcas attacking humans, none have proven fatal. In one instance, a group of orcas tried to tip an ice floe that a dog team and photographer associated with the Terra Nova Expedition were standing on. Some believe that the sled dogs’ barking sounded enough like seal calls to pique the orca’s hunting curiosity.
A surfer in California was bitten by an orca in the 1970s, and a boy playing in Alaskan waters frequented by harbor seals was bumped by an orca that apparently mistook him for prey. By contrast, captive orcas have made nearly two dozen attacks on humans since the 1970s, some of which have been fatal.