Scientists have a few theories as to why wild killer whales, also called orcas, don't attack people. One is that they're exceptionally picky eaters. Regional pods tend to hunt one type of food exclusively, whether it's salmon or sea lions. But humans are roughly the same size as some sea lions, and are still able to dive near orcas without incident. Some people think that the orcas' aversion to people might even be cultural, similar to a taboo or unspoken rule.
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Key Facts In This Video
Captivity may psychologically traumatize whales, resulting in dangerous behavior. 00:39
Killer whales have complex social structures comparable to those of humans and chimps. 01:22
Brain studies suggest that killer whales have an advanced capacity for emotional processing. 03:19