Killer Whale Catapults Seal 80 Feet Into Air

Robert Pittman, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Orcas are known for their love of acrobatics. Sometimes, they’ll even toss their food around.

This spectacular footage shows a colossal killer whale using its tail to launch a seal skyward.

This particular act was filmed by whale-watchers on Eagle Wing Tours off the coast of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

University of London scientist Rudiger Riesch explained to Newsweek that killer whales will often strike seals with their tails in an effort to protect themselves. “A lot of marine mammals, like seals and sea lions, have very sharp claws and teeth, so killer whales are at risk of suffering a severe injury when hunting these prey,” he said. “Therefore, the safest course of action is for the killer whales to debilitate their prey before getting anywhere near them. To do this they use a combination of rams, often head-on, and slapping the prey with their flukes, or tail fins. This can go on for 30 minutes or more, until the seal or sea lion is too injured to fight back or potentially already dead.” It doesn’t usually launch the seals this high into the air though, Riesch added. “I have not yet seen a seal getting flipped quite that high up into the air.”

Quite a strategy.

According to researchers, this group of whales is known as the T69s.  The lone male in the group killed the seal and continued to toss it around in the air. His name is T69C, and he was born in 1995.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

This amazing footage is reminiscent of yet another video depicting an orca flinging a seal nearly 60 feet into the air.