Table 5

Summary of Inuit interviewee information and observations of killer whale attacks on beluga whales, and observations of dead beluga whales that were killed by killer whales.

Observations and information on killer whale attacks on beluga whales

Region


Foxe Basin

Hudson Bay

North Baffin

South Baffin

Total


Interviewees reporting first-hand observations

4

3

1

7

15


Interviewees reporting second-hand observations and stories

3

3

6


Interviewees providing descriptions of attacks and attack methods

2

5

1

10

18


Killer whales:


...circle the belugas before commencing an attack

1

1


...splash a lot when hunting belugas

1

1


...ram beluga whales in the side, "to break their ribs"

1

1

2


...toss belugas around, throw them in the air

3

3


...bite belugas in the midsection, lift them out of the water, carry them around

2

4

6


...leave lots of blubber scraps with bite marks, and oil slicks on the water

4

4

8


...kill beluga whales for fun, play with them, and sometimes do not eat them

2

2


...prefer the meat, and strip the blubber off the belugas

2

2


...will start to eat belugas when they are still alive

1

1


...sometimes eat belugas underwater, big pieces of blubber float to the surface

1

1


...leave blubber and dead whales behind that Inuit gather for food

1

1


Interviewees reporting dead belugas (or parts) that were killed by killer whales

2

1

4

7


Interviewees providing descriptions of dead belugas

2

1

4

7


Hunters find:


...dead belugas with their ribs busted

1

1


...dead belugas with the blubber missing

1

1


...dead belugas covered in bite marks

1

1


...belugas that the killer whales have killed and left, wasting them

1

1


...scraps of blubber and maktak, all chewed up, floating in the water

2

1

4

7


Ferguson et al. Aquatic Biosystems 2012 8:3   doi:10.1186/2046-9063-8-3

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