The Time When Cameras Caught An Orca And Whale Fight

Orcas, also called killer whales, have long been known to go around messing with large whales' calves. In fact, according to Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), ancient sailors originally referred to them as "whale killers" because they often saw orcas go on the attack to wrangle juvenile whales away from larger whale species, not to mention, orcas will go after various marine mammals and even Great White sharks, according to Smithsonian Magazine, who reported that some scientists even think Great Whites are afraid of orcas. 

Killer whales are apex predators, that is, there is no sea creature that hunts and eats them, though they aren't actually whales — they belong to the dolphin family. It's true, an orca's gotta eat, but what's also true is that humpback whales ain't about that noise. They may be the one sea mammal that will intervene when orcas are on the attack.

Killer whale attacks are so common that there are even a few YouTube videos of killer whales attacking larger whale species to get at their calves. Nature is beautiful, yet often brutal. 

When a BBC film crew caught five orcas brazenly trying to get a humpback calf away from its mama in 2015 off of Western Australia's Ningaloo reef, only to have two big daddy humpbacks come to her defense, it was the first time that behavior had been captured on film in tropical waters, though Orcas and humpback whales are both found in every ocean in the world.

Humpback whales are the bodyguards of the sea

Per the narration in the video, the orcas had to use "all of their intelligence" to try to get the calf away from the mother. They worked as a team, taking turns trying to "wave wash" the baby away from the protection of its mother as she kept the baby on her back at the top of the water. Things were looking a little sketchy for a moment, until a humpback bull swims up behind the commotion, dwarfing the orcas, and pushes one of the them away with its flipper. Right behind that came another male humpback, and the two 40 ton bulls flanked the female like a couple of bodyguards.

The orcas keep their distance from the three humpbacks, but the video is cut off, so it's not clear how it ended. Yet in a different BBC video posted on YouTube, what is interesting is that a similar thing happens, only in that whale versus orca fight a group of killer whales succeed in getting a gray whale calf away from its mother and were drowning it when two humpback whales intervened. 

It was too late to save the calf, but the humpbacks hung around and continued to cause a commotion so the orcas could not eat the baby gray whale. Per the BBC, they stayed for six hours, but the orcas eventually did eat the baby gray whale, and the mother gray whale swam off alone.