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Friday, 21 August 2020

Breathtaking moment killer whale uses tail to toss seal 40ft into the air in British Columbia captured in extremely rare photo

  • Captain Andrew Lees, 51, snapped a Bigg's Orca flicking a seal into the air using just the power in its tail
  • Lees had been leading a boat tour near Sidney Island, British Columbia, Canada, when he spotted the orca
  • The Bigg's orca had been swimming and playfully splashing in the water before accidentally flicking the seal 
A boat tour captain has captured the incredible moment a killer whale flipped an unlucky seal into the air using its tail.
Captain Andrew Lees, 51, snapped the breathtaking images on August 16 after he spotted a male Bigg's orca swimming in the water near Sidney Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Lees had been leading a Five Star Whale Watching tour, a company he has owned since 2017, when he came across the orca. 
Captain Andrew Lees, 51, had been leading a boat tour near Sidney Island, British Columbia, Canada, on August 16 when he came across a pod of Bigg's orca
Captain Andrew Lees, 51, had been leading a boat tour near Sidney Island, British Columbia, Canada, on August 16 when he came across a pod of Bigg's orca
One of the male killer whales was seen swimming and splashing around in the water before accidentally catching a seal in its tail
One of the male killer whales was seen swimming and splashing around in the water before accidentally catching a seal in its tail
With an powerful flick the Bigg's orca flung the unlucky seal high into the air leaving behind a large wall of water
With an powerful flick the Bigg's orca flung the unlucky seal high into the air leaving behind a large wall of water
The 51-year-old from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, observed a young male orca from the pod called T10 as it flicked its tail and flipped itself in the water.
However, with one final flick of its tail, the orca managed to fling an unlucky seal into the air in the Haro Strait.
The seal crashed back down into the water before two other killer whales arrived to feed the male.
speaking about the astonishing sight, Andrew said: 'It was truly breathtaking. Everyone on board was astonished by what we'd seen, including myself.
'Never have I captured something like this on camera before. I have been involved in whale watching since 2005 but have seen an orca do this to a seal or porpoise only a handful of times.

The seal was flung high into the air by the playful Bigg's orca near Sidney Island, British Columbia
The seal was flung high into the air by the playful Bigg's orca near Sidney Island, British Columbia
Captain Lees has only seen a killer whale fling another animal into the air a handful of times in 15 years
Captain Lees has only seen a killer whale fling another animal into the air a handful of times in 15 years
After it had flicked the seal into the air, the killer whale was joined by two other whales who then fed it underwater
After it had flicked the seal into the air, the killer whale was joined by two other whales who then fed it underwater
'It's not often we see them doing it with the tail like that. It happens but that's definitely one of those rarer activities we see out there.
'It was an unbelievable sight and showed the power and skill of these apex predators.
'The son and mum had been hunting seals near the rocks and kelp so we stopped. Then we noticed he turned upside down and all of a sudden I saw the tail fly up and I saw the seal mid-air.
'It was the height that the seal caught that particular day and the way the male had gone on his back to do it, which really struck me.'
Jackie Hildering, a director at the Marine Education and Research Society in Port McNeill, told the Vancouver Sun that orcas will often put on dramatic displays with their prey when learning to socialise with other animals.

5 comments:

  1. Wasnt on accident. Smh they do it to stun then eat.

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    1. Ya pretty strange that they made it through this whole article without mentioning why killer whales play with seals. It's hunting practice. Then they eat them.

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  2. I hope he doesnt land on his back. its gonna hurt. Someone needs to euthanize the killer whale for being to aggressive.

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  3. seal wasn't wearing a mask, probably died from corona

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    1. haha, I was going to say similar...Seal dies of coronavirus

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