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A pod of orcas lived up to their killer name when they unleashed a vicious attack on an unsuspecting minke whale.

Photographer Mikhail Korostelev was leading a group of scientists and tourists off the coast of Eastern Russia when he witnessed the shocking sight.

The group of hungry, transient orcas hunted down the lone mike whale before going in for the kill.

Working together, the pod weighed the whale down in the water, stopping it from reaching the surface to breathe.

Once their prey was weakened, the pod moved in to rip the poor minke whale to shreds in just a couple of minutes.

There are two very different types of orcas that exist in the wild. The first are resident orcas, which live in one place all year round and eat fish to survive. The second, more dangerous type, are transient orcas who roam around large stretches of the ocean and hunt down larger sea mammals.


The two types of orcas do not interbreed and are poles apart when it comes to their social structures.

All of the orcas in the Russian Far East are transient and regularly feast on other whales. However, it is incredibly rare to see them in action and even rarer to be able to film them.

Mikhail explains, ‘it’s a very rare thing. Orcas are the only universal predators among cetaceans able to subsist on both fish and other mammals, including dolphins and whales. Transient orca families are usually made up of up to five individuals who work together to hunt a large mammal by chasing and weighing it down in the water until it drowns.’

As well as capturing visual evidence of this dramatic moment, scientists managed to take audio recordings of the orcas speaking to each other after they made the kill.

They are hoping that analysing it will give them a brand new insight into the unique ways in which orcas communicate with each other.

Watch the video above to see the ferocious hunt for yourself.