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How to Kill Prey Like an Orca

Updated on March 16, 2012

Hungry? Feeling adventurous? If you’re the athletic type, why not train to hunt like an orca? Warm up with a leisurely whale watching trip, study some videos, do some stretches then throw on a wetsuit, head to the beach and try your best. Seals are tasty, as are penguins and sea lions. But be careful—you might have some competition. Here’s what to do:


Like all good parents, orcas teach their young how to fend for themselves. They teach them sophisticated techniques like beaching themselves to catch seals, and how to work together to circle prey. A lot of the time, these hunting lessons are just practice and don’t actually end with a kill. The adult orcas often put living seals or penguins back on the ice after catching them, so the young can have another go.

Here are some lessons, and some lucky critters that got away:

That little penguin could have been eaten at any time, but he was part of a training exercise. But the orcas probably didn’t expect him to get away like that! According to the driver, the whales stopped hunting as soon as the penguin jumped in the boat. That’s lucky, because the next lesson is how to catch prey by swamping them.

Again, these orcas weren’t looking for a meal. They were just teaching their young how to hunt cooperatively! After chasing the seal around, they personally dropped it back on the ice.

This next training attack is a lot more vicious than the others, but it’s good to know how to safely beach yourself and kick around your prey. After they finished, they returned the poor seal to shore!

Ready to hunt for real?



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