While the reappearance of orcas or killer whales in waters off Bohol has mostly elicited awe not just in the province, but nationwide, a local official warned the public that these giant sea creatures may still pose as danger to people who come in contact with them.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office chief Anthony Damalerio said that orcas may become aggressive if they sense that their young are in danger.
“According to experts killer whales are aggressive when in company of their babies,as means of protecting their young ones they tend to attack humans,” Damalerio said.
Damalerio issued the reminder to residents in Garcia Hernandez where a pod of killer whales have been spotted in the past week and neighboring towns such as Jagna, Duero, Valencia, Dimiao and Lila.
According to Damalerio, he has notified the police, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and Bantay Dagat units of the mentioned towns to not harm the orcas and be cautious if they encounter them.
There have been around six orcas spotted in waters off Garcia Hernandez based on sightings in the past week.
Damalerio believes that the orcas may have been drawn to the rich marine life in the area.
“Ang killer hilig og bugnaw, kanag ice ba…mo dive na sila og mga 500 feet sa ilaw’m,” he said.
On Monday, the provincial government led by Governor Art Yap discussed measures on how to protect the orcas while they are in waters off the province.
According to the National Geographic, orcas are the world’s largest dolphins and can grow to be over 30 feet long.
They are “one of the world’s most powerful predators.”
“Though they often frequent cold, coastal waters, orcas can be found from the polar regions to the Equator. They’re at the top of the food chain and have very diverse diets, feasting on fish, penguins, and marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, and even whales, employing teeth that can be four inches long,” the National Geographic said. (R. Tutas)