The small fishing village of Astoria, Oregon, tried to scare off a pesky sea lion colony with a large fake mechanical orca. It was a cunning scheme, one that pitted the sly artifice of man against the whatever it is sea lions have. But alas — nature won.
The plan to unleash the fibreglass orca, which is actually a licensed boat, was concocted to spook the sea lions with recorded whale noises and threat of imminent death by top ocean-dwelling predator. But the 9.75m-long fake whale’s maiden voyage didn’t exactly go… swimmingly.
First, problems with the engine marooned the fraudulent beast.
— Cassandra Profita (@cprofita_opb) June 4, 2015
Then the fake orca proved itself almost infinitely inferior to its real-world counterpart by quickly starting to sink.
Port of Astoria executive director Jim Knight told The Guardian that the sea lions got “deathly silent” when the doomed orca came into view. Which sounds good, except then the fake orca filled with water and tipped over.
— Mark Hanrahan (@mark_hanrahan) June 5, 2015
“They probably think it’s dead now that it’s belly up”, Knight told the Guardian about the sea lions’ nonchalant attitude towards the orca-boat. This is what the port looked like after the failed experiment:
Astoria plans to try this bold gambit again in August.
Images: AP/Joshua Bessex