Pod of Orcas Attack a Gray Whale and Her Calf in Monterey Bay


[A] pack of 20 orcas attacked a mother gray whale and its calf [in a fight lasting] more than two hours, witnessed and photographed by field scout Bart Selby.

A week ago Monday, the humpbacks and killer whales arrived. “Six were real friendly, and swam right up to us,” [Tony] Lorenz said. Selby, a kayaker, wildlife expert and photographer, heard about the whales and headed straight to Monterey.


At mid-afternoon, the orcas found a mother gray whale with a calf.

“They came in waves, like attacking swarms of hockey players,” Selby said. “When one group got tired, then the entire line would rotate out and orbit the center ring while a new swarm of orcas pressed the attack.

“The fight lasted over two hours,” Selby said. “The orcas came in in groups of four or five and tried to separate the whales and drown the baby. They would pulse forward in an attacking line four or five abreast and dive under and on top of the whales.”


“The calf tried to stay on the back of her mom, hooking her tail over mom’s spine, tucking in her flipper so the orcas could not grab them, and even draping her body on top of mom,” Selby said.

With the calf pushed to the side of its mother, the orcas then dragged the baby whale below the surface and drowned it. The orcas then took turns feeding, where they dove down in small groups to take their turns.

The mother gray whale abandoned the area quickly. Four big humpbacks showed up to see what was going on, Selby said, and were then harassed by the orcas.

Anyone who thinks Mother Nature is a sweet old biddy hasn’t really been paying attention…

Via SFGate.

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About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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