Dolphins kill two porpoises in game of 'cat and mouse'
Photographs taken by woman in Aberdeenshire capture moment porpoises are attacked and killed by dolphins
Published 04/03/2014 | 20:20
The moment two porpoises were attacked and killed by dolphins who threw the animals around ‘for fun’ has been captured on camera.
The incident was seen by Caroline Weir who noticed the commotion from her bedroom window in St Cyrus in Aberdeenshire and took photographs.
The pictures show the dolphins repeatedly throwing around one of the porpoises.
The animals were later washed up on the shore dead, and had suffered serious injuries to their heads including deep gaping holes around their eyes.
Experts at the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme believe the pair of dolphins, thought to be young males, were probably playing a game similar to ‘cat and mouse’ when they inflicted the injuries.
In a post on its Facebook page, the organisation said: “Flipper is not as sweet and innocent as he seems.
”Bottlenose dolphins regularly do this, a bit like a cat plays with a mouse.
“Once the porpoise is dead they lose interest. They are also known to kill infants of their own species.
“They don't really compete for food, and they don't eat them so nobody really knows why it happens.”
Other people spoke of their shock at the violence from the dolphins.
Jenny Saunders posted on the page: "Just like people really, you get good ones and not so good ones.
"Dolphins are as socially complex as us."
Porpoises are different from dolphins as they have shorter beaks and flattened teeth.
A postmortem is now to be held to determine exactly how the two porpoises died.