Warning to tourists after killer whales spotted hunting near shoreline

Local fisherman said the ocras have never appeared so close to land.

Incredible footage captured by a fisherman shows two killer whales circling his boat as they hunted for prey off the coast of a popular tourist hotspot.

Video captured the "rare and unbelievable" moment the orcas targeted a dugong in shallow waters near Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, with holidaymakers since being warned against swimming in the sea.

Killer whales, orcas, in water hunting near coast Abu Dhabi.
Two orcas, or killer whales, were spotted hunting near the shoreline. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

Their distinct black and white colouring and long dorsal fins identify them as one of the ocean's most feared predators. The orcas have never been spotted so close to the shoreline before, according to local fishermen, who couldn't believe what he was seeing.

One of the orcas was a massive 12 metres (40 feet) long, according to one of the fishermen, while the other one appeared to be much smaller — possibly a young calf being taught to hunt by its mother — with the pair filmed leaping out of the sea and splashing back down.

As the orcas circle the fishermen's boat, the dugong's brownish body can be seen just below the surface of the crystal-clear water.

Tourists warned to stay out of the water

Local media reported that hotels have closed their beaches to swimmers on the advice of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism until the orcas have moved on.

One of the fishermen, 40-year-old Ahmed Afifi, detailed his encounter with the whales, saying it was the first time that killer whales have been spotted so close to the coast, calling the sighting "very rare and unbelievable".

Killer whales, orcas, in water near coast Abu Dhabi.
Tourists were warned not to swim in the water while the orcas were circulating. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

"It is normal they like to play with their food, sometimes they even kill big whales to eat their tongue or liver and leave the rest, he told Newsflash.

He said that killer whales had once been spotted about 120 kilometres (75 miles) off the coast, but never so near to dry land and claimed a researcher from Zayed University said that these two killer whales were last spotted off the coast of Sri Lanka.

The fisherman, who started his fishing organisation Just Fishing in 2018, said his business specialises in sports fishing charters with five boats. "Our vision is to see Abu Dhabi become one of the world's top sports fishing destinations," he said.


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