( Credits:@yourclicks_karnataka/Instagram)

In a rare occurrence, a pod of orcas, also known as killer whales, was observed along India's west coast in the Arabian Sea. These marine mammals, recognized for their hunting prowess, were seen from Nivti in Maharashtra to Malpe in Karnataka. Orcas, the largest members of the dolphin family, typically inhabit cooler waters and polar regions. Although infrequently spotted in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea, their recent appearance near India's west coast raises inquiries about their migration behavior, feeding practices, and ability to adapt to diverse water temperatures worldwide.

Earlier this month, an Instagram account named yourclicks_karnataka shared a video capturing a pod of orcas in Malpe, Udupi.

The video was accompanied by the caption, "It's truly astonishing and surprising. Orcas, the massive killer whales usually linked with the icy waters of Antarctica, Norway, and Alaska, have been observed off the west coast of India (Nivti, MH to Malpe, Karnataka). This rare event challenges our preconceived notions, underscoring how limited our understanding is of marine life along our own coastline."

So far, this video has garnered over 1.5 lakh likes. In the comments, opinions about the orcas' presence near Indian coasts vary. Some expressed concern about the impact of climate change on marine animal behavior. One user wrote, "This is not their natural habitat. When whales migrate so far for food, you know something is wrong." Another shared a similar view, stating, "For all those who are fascinated and amazed by this, don't be. It's concerning, as orcas, while able to live in many habitats, prefer cold waters. Their presence here indicates a drastic change in their migratory pattern, and when they come so far for food, you know something is wrong."

Earlier this year, numerous reports surfaced about orca pods attacking boats and yachts in the Strait of Gibraltar. An Instagram user raised caution about the possibility of similar events, asserting, "Kindly read about orcas and their new trend of attacking boat and yacht rudders before thinking it's all cute."

Many people pointed out that orca sightings are rare but not unheard of in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. A netizen commented, "I don't think this is the first sighting of Orcas off the Indian coast. They've been seen quite sometimes off Sindhudurga, Kerala, Goa, Pondicherry, AP, TN, and the Andaman Nicobar archipelago. Definitely a rare sight nonetheless."

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