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Adult great white spotted with massive scars after surviving serial killer orcas

A surviving victim of a pair of “infamous” shark-hunting orcas has been identified in the waters off South Africa, sporting massive scars.
The victim, a 3.5 metre female great white shark, was spotted July 2017, at Seal Island in False Bay, off Western Cape.
Photos show clear “rake marks” along the shark’s side, which were left by the apex predators’ conical-shaped teeth.
The 3.5-metre great white was scarred after its battle with the orcas.
The 3.5-metre great white was scarred after its battle with the orcas. (Alessandro De Maddalena)
A paper, published earlier this month, concludes the marks were left by Port and Starboard.
The two orcas have been hunting sharks along the Gansbaai coast, which is around 100 kilometres east of False Bay.
The pair are tearing out the livers and eating the organ, which is “packed with nutrition”.
The two orcas, Port and Starboard, have been hunting sharks off the Gansbaai coast, east of Cape Town.
The two orcas, Port and Starboard, have been hunting sharks off South Africa. (Alison Towner / Marine Dynamics)

The marks observed on the great white sharks were on its left side, and pointed towards a fierce battle.
“The appearance of the scratches seems to indicate that they were inflicted with significant force,” lead author, Alessandro De Maddalena, wrote.

“It is likely, the marks were enhanced by the vigorous movement that the shark may have made in order to escape the attack.”

The orcas' conical-shaped teeth left
The orcas’ conical-shaped teeth left “rake marks” along the shark’s left trunk. (Alessandro De Maddalena)
The shark seemed unbothered by the injuries and made “several passes around the boat” being used for cage diving.
“The shark had a massive body, with a wide trunk,” De Maddalena noted.
The paper added that “predation on great whites by orcas is very rare”.
Since 2017 eight dead great whites have washed up on the Gansbaai coast.
The bodies of great white sharks began washing up on the Gansbaai coast in 2017. (Dyer Island Conservation Trust)
The orcas killed five great whites sharks over a few months in 2017.
Then in July 2022, rare drone footage was shared, showing the moment at least three orcas killed great white shark.
One of the predators ripped out the shark’s liver and ate it.
One of the orcas attacks the great white shark's side and eats its liver.
One of the orcas attacks the great white shark’s side and eats its liver. (Discovery Channel)
Alison Towner, a senior white shark biologist at the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, leading the research into the shark-hunting orcas, said the footage was “incredible”.
“(It’s) one of the most incredible pieces of natural history ever captured on film,” she said.”
Port and Starboard made their biggest kill to date this year.
From February 3 to February 22, 17 dead shark carcasses washed ashore the Gansbaai coast.
While orcas are considered the apex predator of the ocean, there’s no record of one ever killing a human in the wild.
Shark’s dorsal fin ‘zipped back up’ after serious damage
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Last modified: March 8, 2023