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Orca Moms Teach Young The Trick For Killing Seals

CHUBUT — Through cunning techniques used in hunting seals and smaller whales, killer whales reveal they are one of the most intelligent of sea mammals, explains Argentine daily Clarin.

Every season killer whales return to the Valdés peninsula in Chubut, southern Argentina, for their seal hunting ritual. Here they display their ingenuity using the particular technique of momentarily beaching themselves to catch a seal and drag it out to sea.

Observers consider it one of the boldest and most intelligent hunting methods among animals. These rites include teaching their young to do the same, and passing the technique to future generations, which is crucial to their collective survival.

The whales carried out four attacks in recent days, two of them successful. These provided food for two whale pods of four that had arrived to Punta Norte. One pod included a female that local scientists have named Llem, as well as her baby born last year, and two others, Pao and Schekei.

The "little'un" was seen mixing with its elders and learning to hunt. More attacks are expected in coming days as sea lions have given birth to large numbers of calves.

Clarín observed the whales' method of shifting into the shallow part of the water and waiting for a seal to take a dip. Scientists have observed the technique used both in Punta Norte and in Caleta Valdés nearby.

Killer whales' superior intelligence is also shown in their "systematic" method of hunting the Southern Right Whale, of which they are one of the main predators. Knowing the Right Whales' only defense is to sink into the depths, killer whales force them to swim into shallow waters, where they attack. Killer whales usually eat every bit of the 40 tons of whale meat when one is killed.

The orcas are expected back for more feeding off the coast of Chubut province in September.

All photos: Francois Gohier/Vwpics/ZUMA

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot and other military skills at a shooting range in Lviv on July 30, 2022.

Guillaume Ptak

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

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On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

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