Killer whales spotted hunting and devouring helpless dolphin in New Zealand

There’s a reason why they’re called killer whales.

During a fishing trip in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand, 12-year-old Jackson Baker and his father Richard spotted a pod of orcas swimming and splashing about near their boat. The boy did what any excited whale watcher would do: he grabbed a camera and began to film. But what Jackson later realised was that he had filmed something far more gruesome than a simple family swim; the pod of killer whales were actually hunting, killing, and eating dolphin.

This isn’t the first time such a hunt has been captured on film either, as fisherman Kasey ‘Ox’ Coghlan took footage of orcas hunting bottlenose dolphins around the same area, just a few days prior.

You may think this sort of behavior odd, perhaps cannibalistic, for an orca to want to chow down on dolphin, especially considering that they’re both from the Delphinidae family (yes, killer whales are actually dolphins). But orcas are one of the ocean’s apex predators, and feast on a variety of different prey, including fish, sea mammals, turtles, and even sea birds. In fact, they’re sometimes referred to as the wolves of the sea, as they hunt in packs like wolves do.