USA: VIDEO OF KILLER WHALE ATTACKING A GREAT WHITE SHARK
VNR - PRBO (Point Reyes Bird Observatory) Contact: Peter Pyle 4990 Shoreline Hwy. ,
Stinson Beach ,
Date: 10/10/1997 04:00 AM
Off San Francisco coast, California, U-S-A, 4 October, 1997
Off San Francisco Coast, VNR
1. W/S of Orca killer whale and Great White shark underwater.
2. M/S of whale and shark underwater.
3. M/S view of whale at surface with shark.
4. M/S of whale clearing air spout.
5. M/S of marine biologists in boat near whale and shark.
6. Underwater view of whale eating remains of shark.
Point Reyes Bird Observatory, off San Francisco coast, VNR file
7. W/S of killer whale jumping out of water at sea aquarium.
8. M/S of whale and handler.
9. M/S of whale with head out of water.
10. W/S of whale splashing audience with tale.
11. M/S of whale rising out of water.
KEYWORDS: NATURAL HISTORY
It was a case of whale versus shark - and the whale won.
Naturalists off the coast of San Francisco have caught a rare glimpse of a killer whale in action.
They videotaped, possibly for the first time, a killer whale attacking and feeding on the most feared creature of the sea -- a Great White shark.
It was a scene in which the killer whale lived up to its name.
And it's a scene captivating marine researchers around the world -- a 20-foot-long (six metre) female Orca killer whale attacking and feeding on a 10-foot (three metre) Great White shark.
It was captured on video last by wildlife enthusiasts on a cruise sponsored by the Oceanic Society.
Their boat arrived on the scene after taking a radio transmission from a fisherman who'd seen two Orca killer whales near the Farallon Islands, off the coast of San Francisco, California.
It was a female with a smaller whale, perhaps her own offspring, swimming in the area.
Witnesses say the female veered toward a dark shape seen nearby, and then surged to the surface with a Great White shark in her jaws.
The whale was seen thrashing the shark on the surface of the water, a practice Orcas typically employ with their prey.
Adult killer whales, along with sharks, are considered by scientists to be at the top of the ocean's food chain.
However, marine biologists assumed that killer whales and Great White sharks, the top predators of the sea, avoided each other.
But officials of the Point Reyes Bird Observatory stationed on South-east Farallon Island have gone a step further, capturing the Orca feeding on the shark with an underwater camera.
Orca whales, considered highly intelligent, sociable animals, are a fixture of many sea aquariums in the U-S and elsewhere.
Now biologists will have to add a new twist to their understanding of Orca behaviour.