Orcas hunt blue whales
Killer whales hunt humpback whales
The roughly two to three year old, sturdy male was not an easy opponent, however, and thrashed around with his fluke every time to get rid of the attackers. Eventually the animal sought shelter on the side of the observation boat and below it. The killer whales continued to attack in order to drive their chosen prey back into the open water. Because of the unrest, 50 pilot whales finally appeared, which the supposed prospect of octopus had attracted. The blood and blubber of the humpback whale, in turn, attracted bull sharks, who speculated on their share of the prey.
Faced with the dwindling prospects of success and the unrest, the killer whales withdrew; the larger of the two groups finally gave up completely and disappeared. However, the remaining six animals waited for the humpback whale to move on, which happened after another 40 minutes. Immediately one of the killer whales broke away from its group and tried to push the humpback whale in the direction of its fellow whales - unsuccessfully.
The orcas then launched a final attack: the nine-ton bull El Notcho rammed his opponent's jaw with full force in order to break it. Killer whales use this tactic successfully on calves and annuals, but the 15-ton, perennial humpback whale survived this blow, at least apparently unharmed. Then the killer whales gave up the hunt, the lead cow gave the signal to stop and the school swam away.
The humpback whale lost its dorsal fin during the fighting. Tail and side fins remained unharmed, so that it should have a good chance of survival.
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