Racist Orcas Attacking Refugee Boats Not Actually Racist, Scientists Say

Oh, so the whales don’t actually hate black people?

They just think they’re silly and want to play with them?

Good to know.


The Guardian:

Orcas that have been ramming boats are not “attacking” the vessels, but are most likely being playful, leading scientists have said.

The experts have warned that the false narrative is putting the animals at risk of retribution from humans.

Iberian orcas started ramming vessels along the Spanish and Portuguese coast in July 2020, with at least 11 juveniles and four adult females believed to be involved.


I’ve heard of “11 juveniles and four adult females” destroying things before, I think.

Some boats had toothmarks on them, while others appeared to have been rammed by a whale’s head or body multiple times, leading to them being towed into port. Since spring 2021, at least five boats have sunk as a result of damage.

More than 30 marine scientists from around the world have signed an open letter explaining that these orcas were showing a wide range of behaviours, many of them “playful social behaviour”, and that these should not be characterised as “attacks”.


One theory is that the behaviour was the equivalent of a cultural fad, which means it might just disappear – much as fashion trends come and go with people.

We urge the media and public to avoid projecting narratives on to these animals. In the absence of further evidence, people should not assume they understand the animals’ motivations,” the scientists write in the letter, saying wildlife should not be punished for exhibiting unusual behaviour.

They are particularly concerned that the narrative is putting orcas at risk of being harmed by humans. It may demonise them in the same way the film Jaws led to a spike in the fear of great white sharks, they say. Earlier this month, footage emerged appearing to show a sailor opening fire on a pod of orcas.

Iberian orcas are considered critically endangered, with possibly fewer than 40 individuals in this population. They are a genetically distinct subpopulation, which mainly feeds on bluefin tuna.

The letter states: “We are concerned that factual errors related to these interactions are being repeated in the media … we believe this narrative inappropriately projects human motivations on to these whales and we are concerned that perpetuating it will lead to punitive responses by mariners or managers.

Science cannot yet explain why the Iberian orcas are doing this, although we repeat that it is more likely related to play/socialising than aggression. However, it is unfounded and potentially harmful to the animals to claim it is for revenge for past wrongs or to promote some other melodramatic storyline.”

This is clearly a response to supposedly serious people claiming, apparently without humor, that the whales are racists.

This is not a parody – a Jew actually wrote this in The Atlantic.

I think it should be considered that these whales are God’s creatures and therefore are acting in the best interests of mankind by destroying these African boats.