I wonder what the green taliban will say about this


Orca whales are awesome…especially when they carve up useless gray whales.

Nature?s truth and tragedy unfolded in a dramatic scene on Monterey Bay last week when a pack of 20 orcas attacked a mother gray whale and its calf.

The fight lasted more than two hours, witnessed and photographed by field scout Bart Selby, and dozens aboard whale watching boats that cruised at top speeds to the periphery of the scene and cut their engines.


Selby, a kayaker, wildlife expert and photographer, heard about the whales and headed straight to Monterey. In 2011, Selby paddled a kayak solo 25 miles from Santa Cruz to Monterey, and two weeks ago, reported sighting a mother gray whale and its calf lounging on the inshore waters at Whaler?s Cove at Pigeon Point near Pescadero.

Selby boarded the Point Sur Clipper with Monterey?s champion whale specialist, Nancy Black, and they quickly found the orcas, more than 20 in all, on the hunt.

Orcas find gray whales

At mid-afternoon, the orcas found a mother gray whale with a calf.

?They came in waves, like attacking swarms of hockey players,? Selby said. ?When one group got tired, then the entire line would rotate out and orbit the center ring while a new swarm of orcas pressed the attack.?

Just as a pack of coyotes will try to separate a fawn from its protective mother, the orcas tried to pry the calf away from its mother as well. ?

?The fight lasted over two hours,? Selby said. ?The orcas came in in groups of four or five and tried to separate the whales and drown the baby.?They would pulse forward in an attacking line four or five abreast and dive under and on top of the whales.

?The mother fought valiantly. The whales rolled and flailed at their assailants.

?The calf tried to stay on the back of her mom, hooking her tail over mom?s spine, tucking in her flipper so the orcas could not grab them,?and even draping her body on top of mom,? Selby said. ?Mom fought and fought. We could just see the baby on top of her, often out of the water. The orcas tried to swim between them and dove under and rushed to the surface, pummeling her from below.?

It took a series of prolonged assaults, coming in wave after wave, but they finally succeeded.

With the calf pushed to the side of its mother, the orcas then dragged the baby whale below the surface and drowned it, Selby said.

?I?ve been around enough to know that nature is cruel, but it was hard to watch,? he said.

A feeding spectacle

The orcas then took turns feeding, where they dove down in small groups to take their turns. All the while, the orcas put on a show where they breached, tail slapped. ?It was like they were celebrating their victory,? Selby said.


Why eat anchovies and salmon when you can eat whales…