On 4/17/2018 a family of killer whales brutally attacked and consumed a baby Gray Whale out of Moss Landing, in the Monterey Bay. The attack lasted for over two hours. I was Captaining the whale watching boat Sanctuary while flying the drone and filming in 4K.
The calf’s 50 foot, 40 ton mother was trying with all her might to save it. She lifted the calf out of the water many times on her head to help save it from being eaten. The Orcas spend two hours trying to get between the mom and calf to drown it. After a half hour of filming, the mother lifted the calf for its last breath, while an adult killer whale jumped out of the water, grabbing the calf off of its mothers head and taking it to the depths of the Monterey Bay Submarine Canyon, never to be seen again. This is the GREATEST battle in the animal kingdom, and has NEVER been filmed from the air in sunny conditions.
Immediately after the attack, the mother gasped, making a rainblow about five times the size of an average Gray Whale spout. She then shook violently side to side several times in sheer sadness and grief after losing her baby, then she continued her migration north. After she left, a humpback whale showed up and tried to chase the killer whales off the carcass. It tail slapped several times and trumpeted as loud as an elephant. Humpbacks have been known to defend other whales, and humans from sharks and killer whales. In fact many humpbacks have battle scars from Orcas biting their tails when they were calves.
Mid April through mid May is the best time of year to see Orcas, as they hunt the north bound Grays. During these four weeks the calves swim by our coasts from their calving grounds in the lagoons of Baja to their feeding grounds in Alaska. Moss Landing is the best port to leave from because the Monterey Bay Submarine Canyon comes within 100 feet of shore. The Orcas use the deep waters of the canyon to ambush the calves.
ALL IMAGES : Giancarlo Thomae/www.sanctuarycruises.com
Sanctuary Boat Phone:831-917-1042