Watch as a pod of orcas attack a humpback whale calf

By AG STAFF 15 October 2019
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These whale watchers were treated to more than they bargained for.

A GROUP OF unsuspecting whale watchers two kilometres off the coast of the Ballina breakwall, in northern NSW, were witness to a rarely seen wildlife spectacle when a group of orcas, also known as killer whales, began hunting a humpback whale calf.

orca attacking humpback whale

(Image credit: Out of the Blue Adventures)

Whale watching charter boat company, Out of the Blue Adventures, was running its normal Saturday morning tour and observing a female humpback whale and her calf when a pod of 30 orcas emerged.

The orcas began by separating the calf from its mother and then proceeded to jump on top of the calf’s blowhole, effectively drowning it. They then devoured it.

orca attacking whale calf

(Image credit: Out of the Blue Adventures)

“The passengers were shocked, amazed and saddened at the same time,” says owner and skipper of Out of the Blue Adventures Dean Fuchs. 

“The event of the killer whale attacking the calf took about 15 minutes, but the orcas stayed around the same area for about an extra three hours.”

orca attacking whale calf

According to Dean, the orcas then celebrated the kill by presenting leftover blubber to the tour boat full of passengers. 

Orcas are known to feast on the cheeks and tongue of their whale prey, leaving the rest of the carcass, which is why this particular kill can be considered unusual

All photographs and footage were captured by Out of the Blue Adventures.