A killer whale has been spotted at a beach in Umm Al Quwain recently. A video of the swimming animal, which is also called “orca,” has gone viral on Twitter.
Many social media users retweeted the video, stating that killer whales are dangerous. This prompted the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to clarify that orcas are not dangerous. In fact, they will impose a heavy fine on anyone who tries to harm these animals.
Killer Whale Spotted at Umm Al Quwain
The acting director of the ministry’s Department for Biological Diversification, Mona Omran Al Shamsi, stated that the killer whale or orca is actually a type of large dolphin.
“These dolphins do not pose any type of threat to the lives of fishermen or swimmers, and feed on marine mammals, such as fish and seals,” Al Shamsi explained. “Their curiosity will attract them to get close to beaches and while they do not show any type of aggression, like any kind of animal, they do defend themselves in dangerous events.”
Video of killer whale seen at a beach in Umm Al Quwain:
Orca the killer whale in Um al Quain sea 🇦🇪Emirate اوركا الحوت القاتل في بحر أم القيوين (كما وصلني) pic.twitter.com/MEpYVBsWNH
— yousif alraeesi (@yousifalraeesi) April 19, 2017
Killer Whales Not Dangerous
There have been very few cases of killer whales attacking humans. In most of these case, the orca has mistaken the human for a prey animal. But once it realizes its mistake, the killer whale will immediately stop and back off.
Al Shamsi announced that orca hunters will be fined heavily and their fishing license will be revoked. This is because killer whales are in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora. It is also listed in Appendices I and II of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) of Wild Animals.
Orcas and Dolphins Spotted in the Region
Aside from the killer whale seen at Umm Al Quwain, two other orcas have been spotted earlier this month, swimming near Oman’s Musandam Peninsula. Al Shamsi added that several dolphins and whales have been seen in UAE waters because they are currently migrating. These include the humpback whale and the bottlenose dolphin.
Video of other orcas spotted in Oman:
Many of us are quick to react when we see unusual animals around us. When we encounter such videos or images, let us try to know more about them and spread correct information. Moreover, let us support efforts to preserve and take care of these animals.