Seal Overrach a Killer Whale


These dramatic pictures reveal the stunning hunting skills of a killer whale and show the extremes the mammals will go to in order to catch its prey.

Regarded as one of the deadliest predators of the seas, this killer whale has mastered the art of beaching itself in order to hunt young seal pups in shallow waters.

Captured on the coast of Patagonia in Argentina, this amazing sequence of images show how a lucky young seal evaded the giant mammal as it emerged from the icy waters.

He’s behind you: A seal pup makes a desperate bid for land as a killer whale prepares to strike in Patagonia

Photographer and conservationist Rob Lott travelled to Ponte Note in Patagonia to study and photograph the foraging behaviour of a pod of 18 Orcas.

‘We spent a month watching this pod of 18 Orcas near Ponte Note in Patagonia,’ Mr Lott said.

‘Despite their numbers only seven of the Orcas have mastered the stranding behaviour where the Orca enter the shallow surf to feed on seal pups.

Just in time: The seal makes it to shore but for a fearful moment the whale will make a lunge regardless

‘On one occasion we spotted Mel, a 50 year-old Orca, who had previously been studied by David Attenborough in his Trials of Life documentary.

‘We identified him due to his large two metre dorsal fin ad it was great to see him in action.’

Also known as Orcinus orca, the killer whale is the largest member of the dolphin family.

Growing to a length of up to 27 feet, adult Orcas as much as 10 tonnes, killer whales are known to be opportunistic feeders, preying on virtually any large marine animal.

Evasive action: Seal rolls onto its back as the whale, water cascading down its back, decides to end pursuit

Aside from hunting in the waters, Orcas are known to leave the water to grab seals and sea lions from the shore, but on this occasion it was this tiny seal pup managed to evade the huge predator.

‘Seal pups are often born in January of each year and as they grow older they become more brave and courageous and head down towards the shallow surf,’ Mr Lott said.

‘Over the years the Orcas have figured this out and it is not uncommon for the Orcas to feed on the tiny seal pups.

There she goes: The killer whale, believed to be 50 years old and named Mel by photographers in the Southern Atlantic, beats a retreat and the seal heads off to calm his nerves

‘Mel is known to be an expert hunter and he will often take a seal from the shore before taking it back to the pod for feeding.


‘On this occasion however the pup got away, but it made for some spectacular images.’


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