Watch: Orca’s dramatic leap leaves boaters in awe
Boaters in the Mexican Sea of Cortez were amazed on Sunday when an orca jumped 15 feet from the surface while attacking a bottlenose dolphin.
The footage captured by Miguel Cuevas of Cabo Pulmo Divers shows the orca launching itself and the dolphin as the orca rams the smaller mammal during a high-speed vertical charge. (Best seen with sound.)
The predatory event in Cabo Pulmo, a dive site north of Cabo San Lucas, happened after several boats gathered to watch an orca pod hunt dolphins.
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Cabo Pulmo Divers described the big jump as an "amazing moment" on Facebook.
Orca slams dolphin to the surface. Photo: Miguel Cuevas
Researchers who saw the video tried late Sunday to get more information about the encounter and to determine if men were accompanying the capsule.
They discovered that another Instagram post contains underwater footage of the orcas chasing dolphins - viewers are forced to skip the third clip. (See post below.)
Cuevas told For The Win Outdoors that he had counted "at least 10 orcas," all women, and that the predator event, even though it only involved one kill, lasted several hours.
He estimated the height of the jump to be "four to five meters".
Orcas in the eastern tropical Pacific, or killer whales, primarily hunt marine mammals and mobula rays, which are abundant in the Gulf. The orcas are known for expressing curiosity towards boaters and occasionally surfing in the wake of ships.
On April 20, further north in Bahia de los Angeles, several orcas swam from a 12-headed pod, including a young calf, so close to a panga that one of its passengers later remembered: “I laughed and cried and was utterly incredulous. ”
–Images courtesy of Miguel Cuevas / Cabo Pulmo Divers
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