Humpback Whale Attacks Kayakers at Avila Beach

A Humpback Whale attacks two whale watchers at Avila Beach


Photo Courtesy of Daily Mail

Humpback Whale attacks two kayakers whale-watching at Avila Beach

A report of a Humpback Whale that nearly swallowed two kayakers at Avila Beach, California, on November 4, 2020 shocks marine experts. This is a rare sight of humpback whales being abnormally aggressive with humans.      

The victims were Julie McSorley and Liz Cottriel. They were just watching whales from a distance, but then a whale swooped them up from under their kayaks. Before the attack, the kayakers noticed a large school of fish, the likely cause the whale approached them. Liz said that when she saw the whale she thought  “Oh, no! too close!”.  Julie said that, “All of a sudden, I was lifted, and I was in the water.” Liz was thinking “I’m dead, I’m dead, I thought it was going to land on me.” Liz just said that, “the whale was right in front of my face, literally.” They kept getting knocked over into the water multiple times, but when they got away from the whale, they swam to the shore and both of the women were unharmed. 

The whale’s diet comprises krill, smaller fish, copepod crustaceans, anchovies, and small schools of fish. Humpback Whales are Baleen Whales. The Humpback whale is not supposed to eat or even open its mouth to a human. There is no scientific explanation for this act. A similar event happened in biblical times, the story of Jonah and the giant whale. A whale swallowed Jonah the prophet of the Hebrew Bible and was inside his stomach for three days until being spit out. 

 Humpback whales are non-violent mammals that have protected other living species, not like any other species. For such a violent act, this is a hard event that is impossible to believe. But this is not the first time that a human has been captured by the jaws of the mighty humpback whale.

Whales are fascinating creatures but can be dangerous like when this event happened. We have proven many thoughts about what was the answer, but none are sure. Many people think that the whale was protecting the victims, but some people don’t think that is true. Marine biologist Nan Hauser said that a 50,000lb humpback whale protected her from a shark during a research expedition in the Cook Islands. She believes it could be the first case on record of a humpback protecting a human.