A killer whale threw a seal 80 feet in the air off the coast of Victoria, B.C., with a swipe of its tail. The incident was captured on video by a film crew.
Mike Walker, the owner of Rolls.Focus.Productions, was filming a whale-watching company’s promotional video. The video he shot shows a transient orca, named T69C, throwing a harbor seal 80 feet into the air with its tail.
There have been previous reported incidents of whales throwing marine mammals into the air.
“They don’t often eat the seals [after hitting them]. But when they hit Dall’s porpoises, they do it to eviscerate them. They hit them so hard that their entrails pop out, which they leave behind after eating the muscle and blubber,” Dr. Chris Parsons told the Earth Touch News Network of the practice.
This specific event, however, is rare.
“Brett Soberg—owner of Eagle Wing—mentioned to us that it’s only the fourth time he’s seen an orca do that in about 20 years,” Walker told the Huffington Post. “It was spectacular. You can hear me yelling ‘Yes!’ over and over in the video.”
“Transient whales typically use their tails to stun their prey,” the National Post adds, “but seldom in such a spectacular fashion.”