A pod of killer whales were filmed harassing a blue whale in some amazing footage shot by a drone.
The rare sighting occurred near Monetery Bay, California. Researchers who saw the encounter said the coordinated attack was likely just for fun and not an actual hunt. Orcas are known to engage in playful activity with would-be prey, such as stingrays and seals.
In the video above, the blue whale leaves the orca encounter unscathed. However, this is not always the case. In some rare sightings, killer whales have been recorded hunting and killing blue whales.
The instagram post below captures one such sighting, in which a pod of 50 killer whales hunted a massive blue whale.
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Even with a sometimes playful nature, a sophisticated family and social structure, killer whales are the top predator in the ocean, and so we bear witness to some intense and powerful encounters. Early last Thursday several family groups teamed up to attack and kill the largest prey, a blue whale. . In the middle of an intense lightning storm with visibility less than 200m we literally stumbled onto this colossal event just 12nm off the coast about halfway to the usual offshore research zone. The blue had wounds though fought on for almost an hour before giving in and was held under long enough to drown and/or bleed out. In awe, we witnessed about 50 killer whales feed on their prize for the next 6 hours, then the winds and sea forced our return to port. . Off WA smaller sized cetaceans have shown to be a regular annual prey source for the orca. Even though this is the first recorded encounter (off Australia) of a large baleen whale succumbing to an attack, it's likely other large whales (including blues) often face the risk of predation from killer whales. . Thanks to the CETREC WA team 2019 … Isabella Reeves, Ashleigh Roddick, Machi Yoshida, Bec Wellard, Project ORCA – Orca Research & Conservation Australia, Esperance Diving & Fishing, Jaimen Hudson Hiroyuki Nakagawasai. . . . #projectorca #orcatalkoz #bluewhale #orca #killerwhale #predation
The caption tells us that the wounded blue whale “fought on for almost an hour before giving in and was held under long enough to drown and/or bleed out. In awe, we witnessed about 50 killer whales feed on their prize for the next 6 hours, then the winds and sea forced our return to port.”
They are called killer whales for a reason, after all.