By Bunmi Adigun @Bunmi_Adigun
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Videographer / Director: Team Trip
Producer: Bunmi Adigun, Nick Johnson
Editor: Marcus Cooper
The rare footage was filmed in Avacha Gulf, Kamchatka, in the Russian Far East during an expedition trip to the region by Mikhail Korostelev. The founder of Team Trip, a company that specialises in adventure ecotourism, Mikhail filmed the whales on his most recent excursion in June 2017.
Team Trip partnered up with the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP) an organisation comprised of scientists who study the magnificent creatures.
Mikhail said: “A boat full of scientists and tourists came across several orcas attacking a minke whale off Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.
It was not only a chance to witness the little-seen phenomenon up close, but to record (via underwater microphone) the rarely heard calls the carnivorous mammals make after a kill.”
“The orcas went after the whale for a long time, the drone was up in the air when it practically stopped resisting—it was tired but still sprayed water from the blowhole.”
In the wild, orca whales are known for being highly organised predators able to take down other whales their size in well co-ordinated attacks.
Among killer whales, there are two distinct species: transient orcas which roam over large stretches of coastal waters and feed on larger sea mammals as well as resident orcas, which stay in one area and feed primarily on fish.
Orcas in the Russian Far East are transient and regularly hunt other whales; however, it is rare to see them in action - and even rarer to film them.
Mikhail said: “It's a very rare thing. Orcas are the only universal predators among cetaceans able to subsist on both fish and other mammals, including dolphins and whales. Transient orca families are usually made up of up to five individuals who work together to hunt a large mammal by chasing and weighing it down in the water until it drowns.”