2 videos catch wild orcas at play with people – Mother Nature Network (blog)

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Image: Ulises Lopez/YouTube

Orcas are clever, social dolphins that prowl huge habitats. Captivity can alter their bodies and behavior, as seen in the 2013 film “Blackfish.” Yet SeaWorld supporters say captivity also helps orcas, raising their profile by giving people a chance to see them up close.That may be true, but as two new videos illustrate, marine parks aren’t the only places where humans can connect with orcas. A performance by wild, free orcas is often less convenient and reliable than a show at SeaWorld, but that rarity, spontaneity and authenticity also makes it more exciting. And while you might spend more idle time in a boat or on a beach, waiting in nature isn’t a bad substitute for theme-park lines.One of the videos, filmed from above with a GoPro camera and a quadcopter, shows two orcas playing with a group of kayakers in Norway. It should be noted orcas’ alternate name of “killer whales” is apt, and it’s not necessarily safe to swim with them or get close in small boats. It also should be noted, however, that despite several tragic killings of people by captive orcas, there’s no record of such attacks in the wild. Given the calm demeanor of these apparently curious orcas, it’s unlikely the kayakers were in any danger:

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