Dozens of Orcas Attack and Devour Beaked Whale in Ocean Bloodbath

Dozens of orcas have been observed attacking and devouring a Cuvier's beaked whale in an marine bloodbath.

The orcas were seen swimming in Bremer Canyon, Western Australia by tour agency Naturaliste Charters Bremer Canyon Killer Whale and Pelagic Expeditions.

At first the orcas seemed calm, diving in and out of the water and looking for prey, a blog post from the tour agency reported.

Suddenly the orcas banded together and went east. A tour boat followed them, eventually stopping along three other pods that were hunting in the area.

"A huge number of birds filled the sky swirling above where the orcas were, a tell-tale sign that a hunt was on," the tour agency said in a Facebook post.

A female Cuvier's beaked whale was surrounded on all sides by the orcas. The orcas were holding the beaked whale at the surface, preventing it from diving away. The whale was then "flung up" into the air by the orcas below the surface of the water, with more continuing to charge.

After they had worn the whale down, the orcas worked in tandem to carry out a "synchronized" attack.

Eventually, the tour boat watched the Cuvier's whale disappear below the surface, never to be seen again.

After the orcas finished their meal, birds took their opportunity to nab any scraps left over.

The Cuvier's beaked whale is a rarely seen species that usually dwells in very deep waters. They dive in waters of at least 3,300 feet in depth. They can measure between 15 to 23 feet long, and weigh 4,000 to 6,800 pounds. They are one of the main food sources for orcas in the area.

Marine biologist Bianca Uyen told ABC Australia: "Although beaked whales are one of the main food sources for orcas in the Bremer Canyon, a surface predation like [this one] is only seen a handful of times each season," she said.

Orcas are known to hunt in packs. The formidable predators are highly intelligent and social, are often observed working in teams to achieve goals.

Bremer Canyon is a hotspot for orcas.

The predators come to the area between January and April specifically to feed on beaked whale and squid.

Once the kill was made, Naturaliste Charters noticed there was a lot of "celebrating in the form of breaching, tail slapping and lots of surfing."

"The orcas had once again spread out and could be seen from all sides of the boat putting on a show," the tour agency said.

The orcas eventually dispersed from the area.

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