Pod of Orcas swarm and attack gray whale right in front whale watchers

Bloodbath! Gruesome moment a pod of Orcas kill a gray whale and her calf during a vicious FOUR-HOUR attack as she tried to protect her baby

  • Dramatic footage shows a group of killer whales methodically ram, isolate and kill a gray whale calf passing through Monterey Bay with its mother, on Saturday
  • The graphic attack was captured on video by Monterey Bay Whale Watch
  • A small pod of killer whales can be seen moving in just below the surface
  • The young whale desperately tries to escape while the mother rolls over to protect her baby, but the outcome for the pair was inevitable
  • It took about four hours for five orcas to batter and kill the calf, even as its mother tried to defend it 

A group of five killer whales attacked and killed a gray whale and her calf off the coast of Monterey Bay in California in a bloody four-hour attack.

Monterey Bay Whale Watch captured the graphic video footage of the attack using an overhead drone. 

Nancy Black, a Marine Biologist and owner of Monterey Bay Whale Watch said that the mother gray whale and her calf were on their way to cooler waters in Alaska as they passed through Monterey Bay when they were essentially ambushed. 

The gray whale was passing through Monterey Bay with her calf, seen on the left 

Dramatic footage shows a group of killer whales methodically ram, isolate and kill a gray whale and her calf on Saturday

Black explained how the area is one of the most dangerous parts of the trip as the whales pass over the ‘Monterey Submarine Canyon’ – an area where killer whales lurk. 

Usually, the mothers and their calves typically remain fairly close to the shore on their migration up the California coast because it’s safer and food is more abundant.

However, as they come across Monterey Bay, the geography makes it harder for them to stay close to the coast.

 Orcas hang around the bay waiting to take advantage of the young calves’ vulnerability in deep, open water.

Just as a boatload of whale watchers were watching the killer whales on Saturday, they noticed that the whales appeared to be zig-zagging back and forth before pouncing on the pair.

The mother tried her best to protect her calf during the attack which lasted for four hours.

The video shows killer whales ramming the calf at speed in order to get it away from its mother. Blood can then be seen in the water as the sea briefly turns red.

Black told KRON4 that such an attack is quite normal and simply a ‘harsh fact of nature.’  

The young whale desperately tries to escape while the mother rolls over to protect her baby, but the outcome was inevitable with five killer whales pounding the pair to death

Killer whales are often seen in  in April and May because they hunt gray whale calves

‘It really was a showdown in the sea. Though it can be sad to think of the Gray Whales becoming prey, we must remember that the Killer Whales have to eat in order to survive. 

‘Transient Killer Whales, the type that we typically see here in Monterey, have a diet of other mammals, making springtime in Monterey Bay a haven for these tactically sound hunters,’ Monterey Bay Whale Watch wrote alongside the video on Facebook.

‘This experience was a testament to the interconnectedness of the different creatures of the ocean, and the circle of life,’ the company wrote.

The killer whales that were seen in Monterey Bay are the transient type of killer whale, which means they eat marine mammals

Nancy Black, a Marine Biologist and owner of Monterey Bay Whale Watch, says the interaction is simply a ‘harsh fact of nature’

It took about four hours for five orcas to batter and kill the calf, even as its mother tried to defend it

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