A wildlife photographer captured the rare sight of two adult female killer whales tearing into a live shark using a drone.
Slater Moore was filming in California’s Monterey Bay when he saw the rare offshore killer whale catch a shark in it’s mouth and feed it’s two calves.
The crystal clear footage show’s the shark writhing about in the killer whale’s jaws, and then the 25-strong pod passed it around, taking opportunistic bites at its fins.
The awe-inspiring video also shows the whales flipping the shark on its back, which, according to Marine expert Jane Schramm, is a deliberate move to paralyse the shark.
Speaking to KTVU, Schramm said:
They flip them over on their backs and all of a sudden they slip into what’s called tonic immobility.
Some animals if they’re attacked by a predator, instead of fleeing or fighting, they simply become still.
Offshore Killer Whales today! Such an Awesome encounter!! We encountered these infrequently sighted Killer Whales on the 9am trip aboard the SeaWolf II. This ecotype of Killer Whales often travels in large groups and were seen about this time last December. We saw about 25 individuals and I was even able to get footage of them feeding on a Sevengill Shark with the drone! These whales are typically smaller in size than the Bigg’s or transient Killer Whale type and they had several very young calves with them! So Lucky to get to see this!!!
Monterey Bay Whale Watch
Posted by Slater Moore Photography on Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Sightings like this are few and far between, with Monterey Bay Whale Watch saying this opportunity only comes around every five years or so.
Apparently a living shark is super food for growing baby orcas, so the mums have done very well there.
The circle of life, ey.