Aerial footage shows killer whales hunting great white sharks and is nature at its scariest

Incredible video footage shows a pod of killer whales chasing great white sharks in South Africa. The moment was captured on drone by a group of scientists. This kind of behaviour was never caught on camera, before, and baffled even the marine biologists.

The scientists used the video footages to prove what they initially thought, that the killer whales are hunting great white sharks. Their work was published in the journal Ecology of the Ecological Society of America, in October last year.

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“This behaviour has never been witnessed in detail before, and certainly never from the air,” said the lead author Alison Towner – shark scientist at Marine Dynamics Academy in Gansbaai, South Africa.

Previously, only two killer whales in South Africa have been known to hunt great whites, and the new footage shows one of these whales along with four others exhibiting this behavior. This has led the authors of the study to believe that the behavior may be spreading among killer whales.

YouTube/ Screenshot

“Killer whales are highly intelligent and social animals. Their group hunting methods make them incredibly effective predators,” said marine mammal specialist Dr Simon Elwen (co-author of the study), Director of Sea Search and a research associate at Stellenbosch University.

The study also reveals new information about sharks’ attempts to escape capture by killer whales. In the footage, on two occasions, the killer whales approached the sharks slowly and the sharks stayed close to the killer whales, keeping them in view – a tactic commonly used by seals and turtles to evade sharks. It is possible that sharks are adopting this behavior, as they are not used to being hunted. However, since killer whales hunt in groups, it may not be as effective for sharks to use this strategy to escape.

Watch the moment here!