RIYADH — The Saudi National Center for Wildlife (NCM) urged the public not to approach orca whales after the killer whale was spotted in the waters of the Farasan Islands in the southern Jazan region.

Through a video clip posted on its X account on Sunday, the NCM revealed that it had monitored orcas in the waters of the Farasan Islands Reserve. “They are marine mammals known for their intelligence and social structure, and are of great importance to the safety of marine ecosystems. The orca whale plays an important ecological role in marine environments, as it is at the top of the food chain, and thus controlling the numbers of other marine creatures,” it said.

In response to an inquiry about the possibility of orcas being as dangerous as sharks, the center said: “Although no incidents of orcas attacking humans have been recorded, it is recommended not to approach it or swim with it due to its large size and the difficulty of predicting its actions,” the center said.

The orca, or killer whale, is a toothed whale that is the largest member of the oceanic dolphin family. It is the only extant species in the genus Orcinus. Orcas are recognizable by their black-and-white patterned body.

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