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Horror moment mother & son killer whales team up to drown rival’s baby orca in rare attack NEVER filmed before

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THIS is the horror moment a mother and son killer whales teamed up to drown their rival’s baby orca in a terrifying attack never captured on film before.

The rare and spine-chilling footage shows a female orca and her daughters playing with the calf, which is not uncommon when two pods come together.

A mother and son killer whale duo have drowned a rival baby orca in a horror attack

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A mother and son killer whale duo have drowned a rival baby orca in a horror attack
This was the moment the two adult orcas attack the calf, which can be seen rolling on top of the killer whale

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This was the moment the two adult orcas attack the calf, which can be seen rolling on top of the killer whaleCredit: National Geographic
The two beasts imprisoned the baby orca between them, forcing it to drown

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The two beasts imprisoned the baby orca between them, forcing it to drownCredit: National Geographic

But playtime quickly took a turn for the worst when the son slaps the calf with brutal force.

He and his mother then imprison the baby orca between them, forcing it underwater to drown.

The heartbreaking clip was filmed as part of National Geographic’s new series “Queens,” which looks at the behaviors of matriarchs in the animal kingdom. 

But the team was not expecting to witness orca infanticide, let alone capture it on film as it is extremely rare.

Read more on killer whales

Executive producer of the series Chloe Sarosh told Live Science: “This behaviour is so rare — in fact we think this is probably the first case of filmed orca infanticide.

“We didn’t plan to film it, it was just a case of right place, right time.”

Sarosh explained that the crew videotaped the incident for several hours.

A few days later, an orca with the same size and description as the drowned calf came up dead on a coast 5 miles away.

It is suspected that this was the same drowning calf.

ULTRA-RARE ATTACK

The footage will also be used to research the phenomenon.

“That’s why this footage is so important because it gives scientists a chance to study it to identify fins and markings of who and what role they’re playing in this behaviour,” Sarosh said.

Tragic video shows pod of 13 killer whales trapped in vast sheet of ice desperately trying to catch their breath

Because the encounter was so unexpected, the team called a number of scientists to assist analyse the behaviour and determine that it was an instance of infanticide.

While the matriarch and her son’s behaviour is obvious, understanding the behaviours of the other pod members and their responsibilities will take more investigation.

Infanticide among orcas is so unusual that it has only been observed once in published scientific literature – in a 2018 study published in Scientific Reports.

We didn’t plan to film it, it was just a case of right place, right time.

Chloe Sarosh, producer

It recorded a case of calf-killing among a population of transient killer whales in the North Pacific.

Like the latest encounter, this involved an orca mother and her adult male son.

Researchers captured footage of the aftermath of the 2018 event, but it reportedly doesn’t show the moment the calf was killed. 

Charli Grimes, an animal behaviour researcher at the University of Exeter, told Live Science: “A lot of time is spent observing killer whales in the Pacific Northwest and given that it has only been documented once in the literature does appear to make it a rare event.”

KILL AND REPRODUCE

Scientists believe that infanticide among orcas may allow the male to reproduce with the mother of the deceased calf.

“The assumption is that this was done so that the mother would come back into estrus [a period of sexual receptivity] and the male would be able to mate with her and have more calfs in another pod to the matriarch — furthering the genes, furthering the genetic life,” Sarosh said. 

She added: “It’s phenomenal behaviour, really important behaviour.

“It shows the power of the matriarch and the lengths that she’ll go to, to do what is best for her pod and her son and her lineage.”

TRAPPED IN ICE

Another tragic video appears to show a pod of killer whales poking out of chunks of ice desperately trying to catch their breath.

At least 13 orcas have become severely trapped in drift ice off the coast of Hokkaido in north Japan.

The grim footage, aired by Japan’s national broadcaster NHK, showed the whales stuck between a vast sheet of ice near the Shiretoko peninsula, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site famous for wildlife.

Marine expert Seiichiro Tsuchiya was conducting research in the area when he discovered the stricken animals through his drone.

He told the broadcaster: “I saw about 13 killer whales with their heads sticking out of a hole in the ice.

“They seemed to be struggling to breathe, and it looked like they included three or four calves.”

BLOODY WATERS

Shocking footage has appeared to show a lone orca whale mauling a great white shark to death in an “unprecedented” attack.

The killer whale was captured obliterating the predator off the coast of Mossel Bay in South Africa last year.

And now the footage, captured by nearby tourists on a boat, revealed the moment of the deadly ordeal.

The orca whale can be seen dragging a great white shark before ripping its organs out.

Experts said the whale “gripped the left pectoral fin of the shark and thrust forward with the shark several times before eventually eviscerating it”.

The orca soon reappeared with “a bloody piece of peach-coloured liver in its mouth”.

NEW TRICKS

OCRAS have been engaging in tons of new aggressive activity that makes scientists believe they may be getting smarter as a species.

There have been dozens of spottings where orcas are gruesomely killing other sea species, which was not an original behavior for them.

Currently, they have been ganging up on blue whales and abducting baby pilot whales and sharks to eat their livers, Live Science reported.

They’ve also been seen bullying porpoises by tossing them around with other orcas as a form of entertainment.

They have even sunk three boats since 2020, another new bizarre behavior.

Scientists have been trying to figure out why the whales would pick up these new hostile behaviors out of the blue.

It has been suggested that whales are able to learn new behaviors as a whole species due to the complexity of their brains.

Interactions with humans on boats may also be a determining factor.

Orcas’ dangerous behaviours

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are apex predators and can pose dangers under certain circumstances:

  • Predatory Behaviour: While orcas are not known to attack humans in the wild, there have been rare instances of predatory behavior, particularly in captivity. This behavior is not typical in their natural habitat but can occur in confined environments.
  • Accidental Collisions: In the wild, orcas are powerful and fast-moving marine mammals. Accidental collisions with boats or other watercraft can potentially harm both humans and orcas.
  • Competitive Interactions: In some situations, orcas may perceive humans or human activities as competition for resources such as fish. This can lead to aggressive behavior, although such incidents are rare.
  • Environmental Hazards: Pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change pose indirect threats to orcas and can impact their behavior and health. This can indirectly affect human safety, as disturbed or stressed orcas may exhibit unpredictable behaviour.
  • Overall, while orcas are not inherently dangerous to humans, it’s essential to respect their natural behavior and habitat to minimize potential risks and ensure coexistence.

While orcas are not inherently dangerous to humans, it is essential to respect their natural behaviour and habitat to minimise potential risks.

The brutal attack is known as orca infanticide, said to be extremely rare

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The brutal attack is known as orca infanticide, said to be extremely rareCredit: National Geographic
It's understood that the killing is committed so that the male orca can reproduce with the mother of the deceased calf

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It’s understood that the killing is committed so that the male orca can reproduce with the mother of the deceased calfCredit: National Geographic

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