'Incredible, but Brutal': Orcas Prey on Gray Whale Calf Off Oregon Coast
When Jaklyn Larsen sent her drone up after spotting some killer whales off the coast north of Newport, Oregon, on May 8, she had no idea what a dramatic, and brutal scene she was about witness.
Amid all the “motion, splashing and chaos” in the waves, she saw the pod was hunting a mother gray whale and her calf.
Larsen told Storyful that although witnessing the killer whales “cooperatively work to hunt as a family” was incredible, her heart ached for the mother gray whale, who lost her calf in the attack.
“It was both beautiful and brutal, bringing both a sense of excitement and a sense of sadness,” she said. "Nature isn’t always pretty. Moments like these are difficult to observe, to say the least.
“Yet it’s these kinds of opportunities that show us how a mother’s love can exist in animals, even in the wild,” she said.
Larsen took to Instagram a few days later with additional footage showing the sad outcome of the attack.
The Oregonian said that, according to Craig Hayslip, a faculty research assistant with the Marine Mammal Institute at OSU who also witnessed the event, “as night fell, the mother finally swam away heading north and the orcas stayed behind.” Credit: Jaklyn Larsen via Storyful