• A drone captured a video of a shark attacking a whale
  • The shark used a unique strategy to kill the whale
  • Great white sharks do not usually kill whales by drowning them

For the first time, a great white shark was filmed attacking and drowning a whale that was more than three times its size. The incredible video was captured by a drone.

The rare incident happened off the coast of South Africa after a juvenile humpback whale’s tail got entangled in a net. Research coordinator Ryan Johnson of the Blue Wilderness Research deployed a drone to view the whale.

At first, Johnson thought that the whale had already died. He was surprised to see that the whale was still alive. As the researcher filmed the whale using the drone, he spotted a great white shark approaching it.

As seen in the video captured by Johnson’s drone, the shark first attacked the whale’s tail area. Marine researchers believe that the shark strategically targeted the whale’s tail in order to open up an artery and weaken it.

The shark, which was identified by researchers as the one they previously named Helen, then placed its weight on the whale’s head to keep its blowhole underwater in order to drown it. It took about 50 minutes for the shark to successfully kill the whale.

Johnson noted that capturing the incident on film was a rare opportunity.

“I honestly did not quite compute what a unique event it was until afterwards,” he told Newsweek. “We are talking about one of the planet’s largest predators attacking and killing one of the world’s largest species. It is just fascinating that we live on a planet that can still surprise us with an encounter of this magnitude.”

According to Johnson, the technique used by Helen to take down the whale has never been seen in great white sharks. In most cases, Orcas are the ones that use this method in order to take down whales.

Due to the odd yet effective killing strategy used by the shark, Johnson believes that Helen is used to practicing the same technique to attack whales.

“I had heard of Orca pods taking on large whales and calves, but honestly thought it was well out of the scope of great white sharks,” he stated. “From everything I found, this was really the first verified report of a shark successfully killing a living whale.”

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Great White Shark Pixabay