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First Time In World History, Killer Whales Filmed Hunting Dolphins

http://inlinethumb25.webshots.com/40600/2248080610103329676S600x600Q85.jpgPhoto:
Image from The Herald. Let's see how long until we get a cease-and-desist.

A tour operator in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, unwittingly stumbled into the history books this weekend when he, his boat captain, and four tourists were in the right place at the right time to make the first recording ever of Orca whales hunting dolphins.

Ranier Schimpf was leading a group of divers when they noticed that one dolphin had been separated from a pod by five of the killer whales then repeatedly rammed. The dolphin was sent flying through the air by the force of impact from whales that were several times its size. With the smaller creature finally left laying unconscious on the surface, the whales pulled it below.

The two 7m male, two 5m female, and a 3m calf whales were clearly working as a team against the dolphin, and it appeared it was also a hunting lesson for the calf. More than that, they exhibited very protective behavior after the hunt. Becoming aware of the boat, they slowed, and began to circle the craft, investigating it. At that point the divers, making a decision I'll only characterize as daring here, got into the water with the whales and kept filming them. This paid off, however. The whales, recognizing the humans as non-threatening, began to interact in a friendly way. The mother even presented the calf to one of the tourists, shielding it carefully, but allowing it to take a look at the strange visitors.

Capturing the hunting process of orcas, and their behavior immediately after, gives man access to a previously un-captured behavior that's key to understanding the group dynamics within the pod. Conservation efforts are traditionally most successful when animals are the most thoroughly understood, and we are now, thanks to a group of tourists that were in the right place at the right time, a great leap closer to understanding both the hunting and social behaviors of killer whales.Environmental Graffiti is up for four bloggers’ choice awards. You can vote for us for best entertainment blog, best blog of all time, best geek blog and best animal blogger.

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ericc (not verified) says:

i am sexy whale are alsome

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Peter (not verified) says:

Nature can be brutal at times. I feel for the poor dolphin, but I suppose orcas have to eat too.

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Dan Gordon (not verified) says:

To whom it may concern.

"Killer Whales" referred to above are not in fact whales. They, Orcas, are in fact members of the dolphin family, delphinidae. Is this enviornmental wikipedia?

Please do some homework.

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darby (not verified) says:

check out Hayden Panettiere selling poached whale smoothies:

http://www.derober.com/2008/01/28/hayden-likes-her-whales-like-she-likes-her-coffee/

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Ian (not verified) says:

Is this not a sort of cannibalism? Orcas are in fact dolphins, not whales (as this article seems to suggest... *cough*), so wouldn't that be a bit strange? It's fascinating, nonetheless.

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Titothecat (not verified) says:

Just exactly what type of behavior did you expect from "Killer Whales"?

Perhaps that is how they got such a appropriate name.

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Nick (not verified) says:

Where is the video of this footage?

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Where's The Footage? (not verified) says:

Nice article, but WHERE'S THE FILM!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

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Funtasticallyalley (not verified) says:

A story about a video isn't a damn story with a video!

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Brian (not verified) says:

Yea, and wait till the PETA get a hold of this.. [sarcasm] haha

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Katie (not verified) says:

Killer whales ARE whales, and so are dolphins

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Darren (not verified) says:

I don't get it. The Transient killer whales of British Columbia do this all the time. That is what they do. They eat marine mammals, including dolphins, porpoise, seals, and other whales.

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anon (not verified) says:

Seems like that photo is photoshopped to me

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Ray (not verified) says:

Um, the Orca Watch web site for the Pacific Northwest has had pictures where the whales have attacked porpoises.

Try this link:

http://whaleresearch.com/thecenter/Encounters_2008_007.html

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Mike (not verified) says:

Why is there an article about this video and NO video?

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Bob (not verified) says:

Seems as though this is not the "First Time In World History" after all. (See link posted by Ray). Also, where's the video mentioned in the headline?

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kris (not verified) says:

what would stop them from doing something similar to a human?! :)

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Jack (not verified) says:

What kind of Bonehead writes a story about a video and doesn't even give us a teaser video?
Friggin useless!!

Thanks "Ben"

Get Bent

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toots magoo (not verified) says:

hate to break it to you, but Orcas, or "Killer Whales", are not Whales.

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Andy (not verified) says:

This is false it is not the first time anybody has ever captured Killer whales hunting dolphins on film!! I seen that on a wild life program on UK TV years ago! And have herd of it happening many times.

I cant remember the name of the actual tv program but it had footage of a large killer whale chasing a rather small type of dolphin. In the end the killer whale gave up because the dolphin was just too fast and kept out maneuvering it.

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MIKEL (not verified) says:

@lan
"Is this not a sort of cannibalism? ................. so wouldn’t that be a bit strange?"

Many animals practice cannibalism

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Pdawg (not verified) says:

no mention of the orcas eating the dolphin, just ramming it and then drowning it. They do this to teach the calf how to hunt.

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Brian (not verified) says:

Killer whales are not whales, and neither are dolphins. It also would not be cannibalism, because Orcas and dolphins (any kind) are not the same species.

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Celeste (not verified) says:

this is so wack?!

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bob (not verified) says:

This is why I support the "Nuke the whales" initiative.

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Tom (not verified) says:

Firstly, in no way at all is this the first time this has ever been recorded. That orca eat other dolphin species has been known for many years and seen in many places, this is not new in any way. To call it cannibalisitc, displays a large level of ignorance about whales and dolphins and animals (including humans) in general. Humans in many parts of the world eat monkies, its a perfect parallel. Orca's and the many dolphin species are not the same species, they are in the same group (cetacean), just as we are primates.

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Melissa (not verified) says:

Hello really good site it gave me really good information for my project!!!

Thanks,
~Melissa~

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Jodi (not verified) says:

Chill people here's the url for the video on YouTube, it wasn't hard to find.

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Sydney (not verified) says:

Really Amazing! Capturing the hunting process of orcas, and their behavior immediately after, gives man access to a previously un-captured behavior that’s key to understanding the group dynamics within the pod. Conservation efforts are traditionally most successful when animals are the most thoroughly understood, and we are now, thanks to a group of tourists that were in the right place at the right time, a great leap closer to understanding both the hunting and social behaviors of killer whales. Good Post i look forward to reading more!
Sydney

career hunting uk

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Rainer Schimpf (not verified) says:

Here is what you all are waitinmg for:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-bxOnAOH7I

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steaphen (not verified) says:

killer whales were hunting dolphins off the west coast of canada(georgia straight i think) and these dolphins are not known to the area, but warm water temps. have brought them north, and don't mess with killer whales! the killer whales(guess they are dolphins too), were amazingly fast!

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WakeUpC22 (not verified) says:

It could also be protective behavior as the whales saw another predator as a threat and therefore kept it at bay. They probably pulled it down after they neutralized the threat but who knows it could be that they viewed it as a hunting lesson as well.