A pod of three killer whales attacked a humpback whale mother and her calf off the coast of Ningaloo in Western Australia on Friday, July 24, in a phenomenon rarely seen by scientists.
Drone footage filmed by two fishermen showed the humpback whale mother and her calf fending off a synchronized attack from the three killer whales.
"I was marlin fishing and had the first orca shoot in and roll right under the boat, showing off and playing," said Shane Stephen, one of the fishermen who witnessed the attack. "Shortly after, we saw splashing and a commotion and knew a hunt was underway. It is the first orca hunt and kill of a humpback whale this season and went on for almost 2 hours."
Stephen told Reuters that the humpback mother's calf was unfortunately "taken" and separated from the mother after two hours.
Killer whales—also known as orcas—hunt in groups and seek out prey like fish, cephalopods, whales, and sea turtles in shallower waters.
Stephen posted the incredible footage on Instagram, and many viewers responded in amazement.
"What an insane sight to see, Mother Nature sure does surprise you!" wrote one person.
Another added, "Wow what an absolute trip to witness."