Drones captured the moment killer whales killed a great white off the coast of South Africa earlier this year.
The footage, captured by broadcast on Discovery Channel on May 28, opens with two killer whales swimming near the surface of the water in the waters of Mossel Bay, South Africa, where great white sharks often feed. Business Insider. Suddenly, a third killer whale emerged from the deep sea, grabbing the 2.7-meter white shark. As it approached the surface of the water, blood splattered around the shark’s carcass. Killer whales circle around their prey. Finally, one of them carried the shark carcass and swam away.
Alison Towner, a white shark scientist in South Africa, says this is the world’s first drone footage of killer whales killing great white sharks, and the first direct evidence of a killer whale killing a great white shark. This phenomenon was recorded in South Africa.
Great white sharks are often seen as top predators, which means they have virtually no enemies in the wild. However, researchers have identified some rare cases of great white sharks falling prey to killer whales. Research published in the journal Marine Science in June 2022 by Towner and colleagues shows that great whites are fleeing from popular feeding areas in South Africa due to the appearance of killer whales.
The research team noted that the white shark carcass had its liver removed and washed ashore, in some cases without a heart. The wound on the great white shark’s body revealed that it was a mark caused by a killer whale. In the newly released drone video, a killer whale grabs a shark carcass near the liver.
Towner et al suggested that the attacks spurred great white sharks to migrate out of the area. Declining numbers of great white sharks have created opportunities for other sharks, the bronze whaler, to come foraging, leading to many profound impacts on the ecosystem.
An Khang (Follow Business Insider)