Watch Jaw-Dropping Drone Footage of Killer Whales Hunting in the Open Ocean

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: April 6, 2023
© Guillermo El Oso/
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

Hunting is an essential activity for many animals – they simply have to catch prey to survive. It can be a gruesome and brutal process but, as we can see from watching this jaw-dropping footage, it can also be majestic and beautiful.

Elegant Hunting at the Shoreline

In this video, we see a pod of orcas hunting sea lions in shallow waters close to the shore. The first thing that strikes you is how graceful and elegant these very special animals are. Then, it is surprising to see how close to the land they are prepared to come to reach the sea lions. It is easy to see how some of them get beached on the shore sometimes. At one point, two adults appear to swim directly at the land and then change direction at the very last moment.

Finally, after a daring lunge at the shore through the crashing waves, one orca is successful at snatching a sea lion and heads back out to sea with the catch in its jaws. It’s also fascinating to see, from the vantage point of the drone footage, that the prey is shared with other members of the pod. Smaller (and presumably younger) orcas get to eat a share of the catch.

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Apex predator: Killer whales
Orcas may breach for fun like dolphins but are considered apex predators.


Orcas Hunting for Prey

Orcas are also called ‘killer whales’ but are not whales at all. They are members of the dolphin family and have a distinctive black body with a white belly, a white ‘patch’ around their eye, and a ‘saddle patch’ behind their dorsal fin.

These amazing animals are very organized and very intelligent hunters. They have been seen working as a team and using clever tactics to secure their prey. Some orcas have been seen herding fish and then using a tail strike to stun them. They also work together to knock their prey off floating ice sheets so that they can attack it in the water.

What is even more impressive, as we see here, some orcas have learned how to beach themselves to catch sea lions and then wriggle back into the water. This is seen in Patagonia, in particular, and is a high-risk strategy for the orca who could get stuck on the shore and perish.

The pod that we see here will most likely be made up of a mature female leader and her offspring as well as her daughters’ offspring. Female orcas experience menopause (as do humans) and stop breeding but remain vital members of the pod. They lead the younger animals to the feeding grounds and help raise the calves!

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killer whale
© Guillermo El Oso/

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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