Reports claiming that a pod of killer whales attacked a Japanese whaling crew, eating one crew member alive and killing 16 more, have been exposed as a hoax.
According to the false reports, the killer whales brutally attacked the Japanese whaling crew of the MV Nisshin Maru, Japan's chief whaling vessel and the world's only whaler factory ship.
The fictional report says that the crew jumped into the water when as a gas leak was detected within the ship's processing factory.
The crew members were then reportedly attacked by a pod of killer whales.
"It was horrific. The water was red with blood, there were bodies everywhere," the report quoted Asuka Kumara, a mechanical engineer who witnessed the shocking incident.
The satirical article added that within thirty minutes, sixteen crew members were killed and one crew was swallowed alive.
The news originated from a story by The World News Daily Report, a satirical website, reports the International Business Times.
The disclaimer on the site states: "World News Daily Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within worldnewsdailyreport.com are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction."
The false report also stated that whaling in the South Eastern Coast of South Africa had been banned by the United Nation's International Court of Justice in April following investigations that found Japan had violated an international moratorium on commercial whaling.
"It seems Japan just doesn't give a damn about international laws. The waste of life is always a shame, but the whales are not to blame here, they were only doing what they are born to do: kill for food," the report quoted James Ben Shahali, environmental activist and spokesman for Greenpeace Canada.
Japan has come under severe criticism over allegations that it continues whale hunting under the guise of carrying out scientific expeditions.
The hoax was perhaps an attempt to cash in on this controversial topic.
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