Spectacular photo’s of a killer whale chasing a dolphin for over 2 hours document the hunt to bring it down and then share it with it’s 2 juvenile offspring and an orphaned male that was adopted 15 years ago. The killer whales were known do to their identifying marks and tracking efforts that have gone on for decades. This is an event rarely captured on film and the sheer power and strength of this life and death struggle captures the mind.
High Speed Chase of Killer Whale Hunting Dolphin
These shots were taken by photographer Jodi Frediani who was fortunate to be on a boat next to the high speed hunt. The hunt began in earnest when the killer whales were able to separate one dolphin away from the group. Once the one dolphin was singled out the pod of killer whales coordinated their attacks so that the dolphin could not get back to the safety of its group. The killer whales rammed the dolphin and flipped it into the air trying to stun it, and then suddenly the chase was ended with the mama orca biting into the dolphin.
Killer Whales Coordinate Their Attack
Killer whales typically use their tails to swat their prey out of the water when chasing slower moving seals and sea lions. In a fast-moving pursuit, such as with a dolphin, they may be moving at 20 knots and will often ram them to send them flying into the air. Killer whales or Orcas are unable to open their mouths to grab their prey with their mouths when traveling at such speeds and resort to other coordinated tactics to take down their prey.