Are Beluga Whales Dangerous?

Whales are some of the biggest predators in the oceans. Have you ever wondered if these creatures are dangerous?

What about beluga whales – are they dangerous? Here we take a look at beluga whales and if any of the other whale family members are considered dangerous. 

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Are beluga whales dangerous? 

Beluga whales can be dangerous when acting in self-defense. They are also such large and powerful animals. But beluga whales do not eat humans, and none of their food sources look anything like food, so a beluga whale would not actively hunt a person.

The reason that they become dangerous is when they are acting in self-defense. If a person were to scare or harass a beluga whale, then the whale could act in a way that is considered dangerous or unpredictable. 

Are humans considered dangerous to beluga whales? 

Humans are far more dangerous to beluga whales than beluga whales are to humans. Beluga whales are hunted by the United States, Canada, Greenland, and Russia for their meat and blubber. These whales are also being captured to be placed in concrete display tanks.

Pollution from humans is also a big problem for them. Chemicals from the plastic and oil that we use and litter are thrown into the ocean build up in these poor whales. This harms both their health and their ability to have offspring.

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Noise pollution (from military sonar, oil drilling, and shipping) disrupts and confuses beluga whales and even increases the risk of the beach. 

Are any whales very dangerous to people? 

Have you ever heard of the famous book Moby Dick? This book tells the story of a sailor taking revenge on a sperm whale after he bit off his leg. So is this story realistic? Are whales considered dangerous to people? Whales are not typically dangerous. Instead, they are pretty friendly and curious!

Sometimes, whales will even approach a boat in the ocean to try to figure out what is going on. It is very unlikely that a whale would attack a human. Even the biggest whale in the world, the Antarctic blue whale (which is also the biggest animal in the world), would not attack a human.

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Even though these whales can weigh as much as 33 elephants and grow almost 100 feet long, they are very peaceful animals. Plus, they eat a diet of only krill- which are crustaceans that are only about two inches long! 

Are killer whales dangerous? 

Orcas, or killer whale
Orca, or killer whale

Orcas, or killer whales, are not actually whales! Instead, these powerful creatures are dolphins! Orcas are the largest member of the dolphin family. It is believed that they got their nickname of a killer whale from when sailors first spotted orcas attacking whales and other large ocean life, and they called them “whale killers.” Over time, this nickname morphed into “killer whales.” 

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Orcas can kill other large predators, like great white sharks and leopard seals, and even large land mammals, like moose, if they swim into the orca’s territory. But there is no record of an orca ever fatally attacking a human in the wild.

There have been several fatal and nonfatal attacks on humans by orcas kept in captivity, but experts are divided if these are accidental attacks or deliberate. 

How big are beluga whales? 

Beluga whale size
Beluga whale size

Full-grown beluga whales can grow to be up to 18 feet long and weigh about 3,500 pounds! A newborn beluga calf is usually only about 5 feet long and weighs only about 180 pounds when it is born. 

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What do beluga whales eat? 

Beluga whales are carnivores, which means that they eat meat. These whales are not picky, and they will eat snails, crabs, shrimp, clams, octopus, squids, mussels, and fish such as salmon, cod, and flounder. Beluga whales eat about 50 to 60 pounds of food every day- and all of it is eaten whole. 

Where do beluga whales live? 

Beluga whales live in the Arctic Ocean and the seas surrounding it. These whales can be found in some regions of North America, such as off the coast of Alaska, the northern regions of Canada, and the western coasts of Greenland.

These whales like to be in the shallow coastal waters in the summer and the deeper waters in the winter. 

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Can Beluga Whales Be Friendly?

Belugas can be really friendly animals. They usually live in small family groups called pods where they will communicate with each other with various sounds like clicks, whistles, and clangs. They are very social and love being with their family, as well as other belugas.

Are Beluga Whales Intelligent?

In general, beluga whales are very intelligent animals that can imitate people, other animals, and plenty of other sounds they hear. Studies are showing they are self-aware and use spoken language to communicate with each other.