A gray whale calf met its gruesome fate when it was attacked by nine killer whales in the waters of Monterey Bay in California on Wednesday. The pod of orcas feasted on the calf when they successfully separated it from its mother.
To date, four gray whales have been killed in a week in Monterey Bay, California including the gray whale calf. These gray whales have not been butchered by humans but by a pod of killer whales or commonly known as orcas. Recently, nine orcas attacked a mother gray whale and its calf completely separating them in just 20 minutes.
Generally, it takes more than an hour for an attack to take place and most of the times, unsuccessful. It seems that this time, the pod of orcas has luck on its side and was successful in slaughtering the gray whale calf, according to The Guardian.
It appears that gray whales are late to migrate this year from the Mexican lagoons to the Northern California coast which made marine biologist, Nancy Black theorized that the 'unprecedented' killing was connected to it. The late migration of the gray whales become just in time for the orcas' hunting season that eagerly waits for their prey. It showed that the mother gray whale is not yet in a good condition to defend her calf.
"This has never happened in my thirty years," Black informed SFGATE. "Just to witness that out in nature when you usually see that kind of thing on television is really spectacular."
She further clarified that the hunt takes place anywhere within an hour or more. At the time of the attack, the mother gray whale hopelessly protects her calf, fighting back with her tail and rolling over to its belly with calf on top.
Orcas not only prey on large animals like gray whale and humpback whale calves but especially on small species like sea lions, tuna, dolphins, seals and even on the most notorious great white shark. They attack in groups in order to separate the mother and the calf like what they did recently. The pod of orcas would distract the mother and bites her while at the same time avoiding the powerful blow from her gigantic tail.