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Killer whale beaches itself, grabs seal for dinner and safely gets back into water killer whale breaching off the shores of California. Photo by Mike Baird.

Killer whale grabs seal

A killer whale was seen by a handful of beach-goers in Argentina recently going to a rather great, and somewhat dangerous, length for dinner. It can be deadly for whales to move up and onto a beach but this one managed to get up there, grab its prey and get back into the ocean.

The breathtaking view of nature happened on a remote beach in Patagonia, Argentina.  The killer whale, with a companion swimming in the ocean behind it, beached itself to get at the unfortunate sea lion. As other sea lions further up the beach watched (in horror?), the resourceful whale kept moving into the shallow water until the top section of its body was up upon the beach itself.

Witnesses said the unsuspecting sea lion had little or no chance to move itself further up onto the beach as the whale appeared quickly and was even quicker to grab dinner into its mouth.

The killer whale (they are also known as orcas) then squiggled backwards and once in deep enough water, turned and swam off with its hapless dinner alive and between its massive teeth. It is hard to say if it was a male or female whale but witnesses described it as large.  Male ocras are larger than females.

Sea lion avoids whale

This was an instance of a whale being resourceful in catching a sea lion, or seal, but there are instances on record when it is the seal that does the quick thinking and manages to escape the clutches of a hungry whale. This is an exert from a story on Digital Journal about just such an event last August:

It happened Friday afternoon in beautiful Desolation Sound at the north end of B.C.’s Sunshine Coast when two transient pods of orcas were in the sound on business — looking for lunch. Seal is a welcome part of the diet of many species of whales and there was at least one seal in the area.
Naturally, that seal did not relish the thought of getting eaten alive and, in desperation, when it spotted a small boat it jumped up and right into it. But there was a fisherman in the boat and witnesses said he gunned the motor, sending the hapless seal back into the ocean.
But the seal didn’t give up, after all the stakes were rather high. It saw a small Zodiac, a dinghy, belonging to Michelle and Ryan Wigmore, which they were towing behind their yacht, and swam over to it.
The Wigmores had been watching a dozen or so whales on a hunt for food and saw the harbour seal get turfed by the fisherman. They saw it swim to their empty dinghy and jump in.

On that occasion, the quick-thinking seal stayed in the dingy for a lengthy period of time until the killer whales gave up and moved out of Desolation Sound to look for their dinner elsewhere. In fact those owners of the dingy it took refuge in, the Wigmores, said it even appeared to have taken a nap while in there.

It is rare for a whale to beach in order to catch a prey.




About the Author

Marcus Hondro
Marcus Hondro

Actor, writer, father, gadfly, ‘Nucks fan.

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