NATURE’s Killers in Eden examines a remarkable and mysterious partnership between killer whales and whalers.
On the southeast coast of Australia, the town of Eden nestles along the shores of Twofold Bay. It was once a center of Australia’s thriving whaling industry, in part because it lies along the migration path of baleen whales swimming northward from the Antarctic. But residents say Eden’s whalers got some unusual help — from orcas, or killer whales, that patrolled offshore.
Locals such as Elsie Severs and Alice Otten who witnessed the hunts say the orcas took the lead in the hunt, herding larger migrating whales into the bay. Once the whales were confined in the bay, the orcas would then attack their quarry to the point of exhaustion. Human whalers moved in for the final kill — then shared the spoils with the orcas.
Discover this extraordinary story of interspecies cooperation on NATURE’s Killers in Eden.
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Online content for Killers in Eden was originally posted November 2005.