While we’re quite accustomed to seeing fights between terrestrial animals, fights between ocean animals, particularly between mammals, aren’t that often featured on nature channels. This is mainly because of the sheer danger of being in proximity to these massive, imposing marine creatures, particularly when they’re angry enough to resort to fighting among themselves.
But that’s not because it’s a rare event or anything like that, but because of the sheer size of the ocean and the danger of being around the animals when they’re belligerent. So you can probably imagine the surprise and sense of awe felt by Pacific Whale Watch Association members as they observed a battle between four orcas and two grey whales.
Surprisingly, despite the potential outcomes of such a battle, none of the animals died and only one was significantly injured. It turns out that even marine mammals know when to stop fighting in time to stop any potential fatalities. Of course, things could have turned out a lot differently.
Even though the event was not filmed, it was documented in detail by a group of Pacific Whale Watch Association members. The fight started as they were just off the coast of the Whidbey Island and headed north into the Saratoga Passage. And the team described the event as a clash of titans.
As the pod of four orcas was being followed by the whale enthusiasts, they ran into a couple of adult gray whales. The team didn’t expect the orcas to take on the 40 ton mammals, but they were proven wrong as a young male spilt off from the pod and went for the two large gray mammals.
The pod of orcas consisted of a female that also happened to be a mother and of her three offspring – the impetuous one that started the fight and two smaller kids. None of the other three wanted to get in on the action, but the mother ended up having to fight in order to save the hot-headed son.
Unsurprisingly, the two forty ton creatures got out of the kerfuffle without any injuries, while the young, impulsive male ended up hit a bunch of times and with enough scrapes and bruises to teach him an important lesson. Meanwhile, the mother got out of the situation just fine, having intervened only to distract the two giants while the reckless son got away.
Gray whales are known as devil fish by most whalers, as they one of the species to put up some of the biggest fights, regardless if they are being hunted by humans or other sea creatures. So the result of the brief sea-side skirmish wasn’t all that unpredictable.
Image source: Wikimedia