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Astonishing footage shows killer whale hunting and killing a great white shark in 'unprecedented' attack
Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Astonishing footage shows killer whale hunting and killing a great white shark in 'unprecedented' attack

Onlookers were shocked by the incident in South Africa

For the first time ever, shocking footage shows a killer whale taking out a great white shark.

The 'astonishing' clip was recorded off Mossel Bay in South Africa and shows an orca called Starboard, attacking and consuming the 2.5 meter shark.

The whole thing took just two minutes and left observers absolutely stunned.

The clip was recorded off Mossel Bay in South Africa.

Starboard had been hunting with fellow orca, Port.

But the whale didn't need any assistance, and the footage proves that orcas no longer need to hunt in packs to take down their rivals.

According to experts, killer whales often target sharks so they can eat their nutrient-rich livers.

“Upon reaching Mossel Bay’s Seal Island, the scent of shark liver oil and a noticeable slick indicated a recent kill," said Esther Jacobs, from the marine conservation initiative Keep Fin Alive.

"Tracking Port and Starboard near the island, they remained separated.

“Witnessing a white shark's fin break the surface initially sparked excitement, but that turned to a sombre realisation as Starboard swiftly approached.

"The moment Starboard rapidly preyed on my favourite shark species was both devastating and intensely powerful.”

You can watch the video below:

Dr Primo Micarelli, from the Shark Studies Centre and Siena University in Italy, was on board the vessel, White Shark Africa.

He said: “Over two decades of annual visits to South Africa, I've observed the profound impact these killer whales have on the local white shark population.

"Seeing Starboard carry a white shark's liver past our vessel is unforgettable.

“Despite my awe for these predators, I'm increasingly concerned about the coastal marine ecology balance."

Meanwhile, Dr Alison Towner, who led an international team researching the discovery, added: “The astonishing predation, off the coast of Mossel Bay, South Africa, represents unprecedented behaviour underscoring the exceptional proficiency of the killer whale."

Onlookers were shocked.

The findings were published in the African Journal of Marine Science.

The research builds on previous findings from 2022, which revealed that a pair of orca had been hunting and killing great white sharks off the coast of South Africa since 2017.

While orca can hunt large animals individually, this is the first occurrence on the great white shark.

Dr Towner, of Rhodes University in South Africa, said: “What we witnessed was an orca, nicknamed Starboard – due to his collapsed dorsal fin – performing alone to incapacitate and consume a white shark within an astounding two-minute timeframe.

“Starboard was observed preying on a 2.5-metre juvenile white shark, later carrying the shark’s liver in its mouth past a boat.

"This sighting revealed evidence of solitary hunting by at least one killer whale, challenging conventional cooperative hunting behaviours known in the region."

Dr Towner says the killing of the shark highlights the need for conservation strategies amidst changing environmental conditions.

Topics: Animals, Science