Orca attack

Today while cruising in the Antarctica we had the chance to see an incredible “class” play out in the animal kingdom. A pod of 5 orcas (killer whales) had come across a crabeater seal lying on a small iceberg and the whales decided to make a training class to teach the 2 juveniles in the pod a specific method of seal hunting. In this method, 3 of the whales would swim in parallel formation toward the iceberg just under the surface of the water, causing a wave to form in front of them. Then just before hitting the iceberg the whales would dive under it and the wave would crash into and over the iceberg, hitting the seal with tremendous force. This would often wash the seal off the iceberg and into the water where presumably it could be caught and eaten. For an hour we watched the orcas practice swimming in formation and slamming the seal with their wave.  The “wave group” always consisted of 3 whales, likely 2 adults and the older juvenile, but it wasn’t clear. The young baby never participated in the charges and seemed to just wander around as all this was happening. It was an amazing display of nature at its best and something that I’ll never forget. I took well over a hundred photos and even the few best don’t convey the drama and excitement of the real experience. You can see a few selected highlight pictures here. Feel free to rate the photos or add comments (select “Add Comment” in the drop down box near the bottom).