Two top ocean-based predators could soon face off in a vicious attack off the coast of the United States, experts fear.
A video of the recent killer whale sighting 40 miles east of Nantucket, Massachusetts was shared, showing a location the great white sharks are known to roam.
Fisherman Jerry Leeman captured the video of the orca, a species also known as killer whales, when the toothed whale passed by his boat in the waters of usually shark-dominated territory.
Leeman also shared some terrifying photos of the whale, which the fisherman claims was roughly 20-feet long and followed his boat for half an hour in an unnerving encounter.
Leeman said: “Killer whale apex predator of the sea. Just awesome total bad a**.”
The rare sighting of the killer whale comes at a time sharks usually return to the coast for the summer months, with experts fearing the two killer beasts could cross paths.
Other than humans, killer whales are the only predators that are a threat to great whites, The Sun reports.
A 10-feet-long female great white shark known as an Andromache is reportedly already in the area, with research organisation OCEARCh regularly tracking the killer fish close to where Leeman spotted the orca.
Bob Hueter, chief scientist at OCEARCH, said that “there can be conflict” between the two predators, with a history of orcas harassing and killing sharks.
Hueter said: “If the orca sticks around, or others appear this summer, there could be some effects on the white sharks that normally feed on seals there. The two species could be in competition with each other for the grey seals of the Cape.”
A 2019 study showed that great white sharks quickly fled whenever killer whales came into the area, and two orcas off the coast of South Africa are said to have repeatedly killed great whites.
The orcas were witnessed “tearing apart” the sharks by a whale watching group.
This article by Ewan Gleadow was first published by The Daily Star on 24 May 2022. Lead Image: Great white sharks will be returning to the coast during summer, where they could face killer whales (Image: Getty Images).
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