Killer Whales are highly intelligent mammals, and are known for being curious and playful. In the wild, they are known to pass behavioral and vocal adaptations from generation to generation, developing a sort of unique whale culture. There have been instances of Orcas mimicking human speech, and working together with humans to hunt fish.
Despite their reputation, there are very few reported attacks by Orcas on humans, mostly from captive animals. Like any wild animal, they should be treated with respect and caution, but they are not known to be any more or less dangerous than most other large species of whale. Still, they are top-level predators, meaning no other animals prey on them. They are even known to battle Great White Sharks and win.
The conservation status of Killer Whales is complicated, as it is believed that different populations may represent entirely different species of Orca. There are numerous different types which can be identified by their behavioral patterns, food choices, and color patterns. Some types are believed to be more endangered than others, and Orcas face threats from pollution, oil spills, climate change and drop in levels of their preferred prey species.