orca

The male pair are known for their rare and distinct collapsed dorsal fins. Image: Supplied

WATCH: Orcas in Kalk Bay harbour! [video]

Onlookers were treated to the sighting of a familiar pair of orcas in Kalk Bay harbour on Thursday morning.

orca

The male pair are known for their rare and distinct collapsed dorsal fins. Image: Supplied

According to shark spotters in Fish Hoek, the visiting orcas (or killer whales) were Port and Starboard – a pair of adult male orcas that are regular visitors off the coast of South Africa.

Orca pair with distinct fins

They are notable for preying on great white sharks, and are identified as having rare and distinct collapsed dorsal fins.

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A two-minute video on social media follows one of the orcas from inside the harbour out into the open ocean. Watch:

Shark Spotters posted the following on Facebook on Thursday, accompanying a similar video that was also shared on their Twitter (X) account:

Our spotters in Fish Hoek were excited to sight the orca duo, Port and Starboard, in the bay this morning at 10:40. The orcas were then sighted in Kalk Bay and were last seen headed towards the middle of the [False] bay at 12:30.

Studies have identified Port and Starboard as a distinctive “flat-toothed” orca ecotype present around South Africa.

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The pair were first reported near LΓΌderitz in 2009 and are often spotted travelling off the coast of Gansbaai, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, and most notably in False Bay.

Two new sheriffs in town

Prior to 2015, it was believed that orcas entering False Bay only preyed on marine mammals, but reports of the pair hunting copper shark and ocean sunfish soon began.

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The duo’s most notable prey then became great white sharks. Great whites were no longer the apex predators in the bay and began washing ashore in 2015 with nothing but their livers removed.

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Examination of the carcasses revealed that orcas open the sharks between their pectoral fins in order to remove the fatty livers.

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